This is one of a series of articles written by eminent clinicians for the purpose of extending information concerning the official medicines. The twenty-four articles in this series have been planned and developed through the cooperation of the U. S. Pharmacopeial Committee of Revision andThe Journal of the American Medical Association.—Ed.
The discussion of the use of drugs in the treatment of the circulatory failure seen in acute infectious disease is fraught with difficulty because of the limitations of our knowledge of the mechanisms responsible for the failure. Clinically the usual type of failure appears to be due to loss of peripheral vascular tone, or a vasomotor paralysis. Much less commonly the evidence seems to point to a primary failure of the heart. In many instances both vasomotor and myocardial failure appear to participate to varying degrees. It is unfortunately not always possible