The introduction of the topic rheumatic fever to any group of clinicians initiates controversy. The reasons for this are apparent. The pathogenesis of rheumatic fever has been obscure, and the mechanism of the disease is still undetermined. Some of the problems awaiting solution have been defined at the bedside; however, their existence has not yet been fully grasped in the laboratory. And it is from the laboratory that clarification must stem. Until fundamental contributions are forthcoming, the clinical investigator has no alternative. He must develop a working hypothesis, test it, modify it and learn from it as much as possible. His concepts will therefore be based on personal observations. In this and in the following paper,1 I shall attempt to explain my concept of rheumatic fever, with the hope that other workers will utilize their laboratory facilities for clarifying and solving the challenging problems of this important disease.
COBURN AF. THE RHEUMATIC FEVER PROBLEM: I. PRESENT STATUS. Am J Dis Child. 1945;70(5):339–347. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1945.02020230079015
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