Resection of Carotid Body for Asthma

Richard H. Overholt, MD
JAMA. 1963;184(2):162. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700150115030.
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To the Editor:  —Dr. Comroe's reasonable and thoughtful criticisms deserve comment. First, he would require sham operations for a control series. This, in effect, has been done. Professor Nakayama accepted 50 unrelieved patients who had been operated upon by other surgeons but with no change in their asthmatic statuses. The carotid bulb area had been previously exposed, but apparently the carotid body was overlooked. Dr. Nakayama reoperated, located the carotid body, and removed it. Relief in this group paralleled that obtained in other cases where removal was documented histologically.After our initial success with glomectomy in certain desperate asthmatic patients, we have had an increasing number of patients referred to us specifically for cartoid body removal. In balancing a negligible risk against the probable benefits of glomectomy, we could do nothing but proceed with excision of one carotid body in all those patients in whom we considered it to be


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