Respiratory Diseases and Allergy. New Method of Approach

by Josef S. Smul, M.D. Fellow National Gastro-Ent. Assoc., Member New York Academy of Sciences, 80 pp., New York 3, N. Y., Medical Library Co., 232 East 15 St., 1953. Price $2.75

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Dr. Smul's idea is that a whole series of names refer to the same disease—he calls it “respirallergy”—and that the treatment of all the different variations is the same and can be effected by injecting the patients with what the author calls the three universal desensitisers and by that he means ragweed, vaccine and house dust. If the patient is treated with doses of these three materials according to a schedule, he will be better.

The idea is interesting until one finds that the list of syndromes includes neurosis of the respiratory tract, hay fever, perennial rhinitis, bronchiectasis and fetid bronchitis. In these diseases the pathology varies with the location of the lesion, but the author's point is that the nature of this pathology is about the same in each case. Is our diagnostic acumen to be thrown away? Is there no use in looking at the x-ray which shows shadows characteristic of paranasal sinusitis or bronchiectasis?