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So-Called "Incipient" Tuberculosis

George H. Evans, M.D.
JAMA. 1916;LXVI(11):833. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02580370053030.
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To the Editor:  —Dr. Ritter's criticism of the expression "incipient pulmonary tuberculosis" (The Journal, Feb. 19, 1916, p. 592) is timely. In a paper read before the San Francisco County Medical Society last October (California State Journal of Medicine, 1916, xiv, 20), I called attention to the fallacy of using this term in describing a condition, the pathology of which was sufficiently advanced to give rise to demonstrable physical signs. At this time I ventured the opinion that "when it is generally recognized that tuberculosis obtains foothold first in infancy or early childhood, and when its pathology and the manner in which it spreads are more thoroughly understood, the term 'incipient' will not have the prominent place in medical nomenclature it now possesses. There will then be a general recognition of the fact that true incipiency in lung tuberculosis is not clinically demonstrable." It is inconsistent to plead for exact


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