Untreated Case of Actinomycosis

Bob McFarland, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1977;137(4):542. doi:10.1001/archinte.1977.03630160098024.
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To the Editor.—  Weese and Smith's article on actinomycosis in the Archives (135:1562-1568, 1975) is fascinating and helpful. Their emphasis on the effectiveness of proper therapy was comforting, since so few of us ever diagnose this condition. I quote the following case from the family archives to remind many of our profession that untreated disease is not always rapidly fatal.

Report of a Case.—  A 24-year-old farmer consulted my grandfather in 1914 because of hemoptysis. My grandfather had recently started practice in Stanhope, Iowa, and he made a provisional diagnosis of tuberculosis. He suggested that the patient move to the Rocky Mountain West, which was then believed to be good therapy for lung disease. The patient moved to Albuquerque and saw physicians there, and then on Feb 25, 1915, he was admitted to the Woodmen of the World Sanitarium in Colorado Springs, Colo. A roentgenogram showed extensive radiodensity in the


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