John A. Pierce, M.D., F.A.C.P.
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The structure of the lungs is maintained by a connective tissue framework of very considerable tensile strength. Metabolic activity in this extracellular fibrous protein network is very slow when compared with that in other tissues. Pulmonary emphysema is a deformity of this network with enlargement of peripheral air spaces. This deformity occurs with increasing frequency as age advances in all people but is present at an early age and in a severe form in many persons with a genetic deficiency of the serum globulin, alphat antitrypsin. Previous studies demonstrated that the lungs of patients with severe emphysema contain normal total
Pierce JA. A Theory of the Pathogenesis of Emphysema.. Ann Intern Med. ;70:1099. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-70-5-1099_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1969;70(5):1099.
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