The fundamental aspects of the signs and symptoms of disease are of vital importance in treatment. Many of these signs are understool today little better than in the past. Fever as a sign of many abnormal conditions is important from both prognostic and therapeutic points of view. Indeed, reduction of fever alone has often been the goal of therapeutic effort. Such measures may have been taken at times without due realization of the possible significance of fever as a defense mechanism.
Inflammation too is well recognized as a sign of morbid processes, but its interpretation has varied widely. Prominent pathologists, notably Cohnheim and Adami, have long considered the possibility that inflammation also may be principally a defense mechanism. If this conception is correct, medical or surgical intervention in these processes should be based on sound knowledge of what changes are introduced at a particular stage. Menkin1 has recently extended