Most cases of acute nephritis in children follow, or occur coincidentally with, some acute infection elsewhere in the body, tonsillitis being, in our experience, the most frequent one encountered. The question naturally arises whether the kidney condition is produced by bacteria which have gained access to the blood from the throat or from some other locus of infection, and thence invade the kidney, or whether a soluble toxin excreted through the kidney is responsible for the trouble.
As far as we know, no systematic study of the question has been made, as regards children, although a number of observations are on record for adults. Inasmuch as the type of case studied in adults by other observers has been, for the most part, widely different from acute nephritis as we see it in children, no conclusions can be drawn by comparing our results with theirs. Therefore, a review of these observations