Failure of the circulation has long been recognized as a serious. and often disastrous, development in the course of diphtheria, but at the present time there is no complete agreement as to its cause. The various theories which have been proposed, accepted for a time, and then discarded, have been reviewed in some detail in the comprehensive paper of Warthin.1 The absence of agreement on the subject is well reflected in the enormous amount of work which has been done—work which has had for its object the demonstration of some one lesion or functional alteration which could explain the entire clinical picture. From 1880 until 1910, numerous attempts were made to correlate the necropsy findings in the heart with the clinical course of the disease, and many observations were made on the circulation in experimental animals after the injection of diphtheria toxin or living cultures of the bacilli.
MARVIN HM. THE EFFECT OF DIPHTHERIA ON THE CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM: I. THE HEART IN FAUCIAL DIPHTHERIA. Am J Dis Child. 1925;29(4):433–476. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1925.04120280003001
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