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The Etiologic Diagnosis of Asthma in Childhood

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1957;93(3):237-241. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1957.02060040239006.
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In other fields of medicine symptoms are grouped into complexes or syndromes in order to arrive at a working diagnosis, even though the cause of the suspected malady is incompletely understood. A specific etiologic diagnosis is essential for the proper management of asthmatic patients. This becomes of utmost importance when one realizes that the "cure" of this condition lies in its prevention and this becomes possible only when every factor that influences the course of the disease is known and controllable. The word "cure" is used here in its clinical or symptomatic form, rather than in its absolute sense, since the genetic characteristics of the allergic state is a birth right that cannot be altered. The investigative work necessary to identify the etiologic agents in cases of asthma may be termed an allergy survey.

Considerable confusion exists regarding the meaning of the term allergy, and it might be well at


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