Pulmonology


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Pulmonology

 

the branch of clinical medicine that studies diseases of the respiratory organs: the trachea, bronchi, lungs, and pleurae. Tuberculosis is studied by a separate clinical discipline, phthisiology. Modern medicine tends to integrate pulmonology and phthisiology. This has come about as a result of changes in the nature of tuberculosis, whose manifestations now more closely resemble immunoallergic, occupational, tumoral, and parasitic diseases of the lungs, and as a result of the lower incidence of tuberculosis in many countries.

Pulmonology became a separate branch of medicine, distinct from therapeutics (internal medicine), surgery, and pediatrics, in the second half of the 20th century. This was owing to the in creased incidence of chronic pneumonia, bronchitis, neoplasms, and other pathological conditions of the lungs, a development that necessitated the establishment of specialized treatment and prophylactic institutions and the training of physicians as pulmonologists. Among the methods used in pulmonology are X rays (tomography, bronchography, angiopneumography, and pneumomediastinography), endoscopy (tracheobronchoscopy and pleuroscopy), functional diagnosis (investigation of the functions of external respiration and blood circulation of the lungs), laboratory studies of sputum and bronchial rinsing fluid, and aspiration and needle biopsy of the bronchi, lungs, and lymph nodes. In 1973 the USSR had more than 50 major pulmonology centers with therapeutic, surgical, and pediatric departments, more than 300 specialized pulmonology departments, and about 1,000 pulmonology offices. In 1967 the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Pulmonology was founded in Leningrad.

Physicians are trained as pulmonologists either during clinical residency and graduate study, as in the USSR, or during study in pulmonary departments of medical schools, as in the USA, where physicians receive a diploma in pulmonology. The development of pulmonology is aided by pulmonology societies. Examples are the pulmonology association in the USA that is part of the American Thoracic Society founded in 1905 and pulmonology sections of therapeutic and surgical scientific societies, as in the USSR.

In the USSR, pulmonology is dealt with in such journals as Klinicheskaia meditsina (Clinical Medicine), Terapevticheskii arkhiv (Therapeutic Archives), and Grudnaia Khirurgiia (Thoracic Surgery). Abroad, more than 30 journals of pulmonology are published, including The American Review of Respiratory Diseases (Baltimore, since 1917; before 1959 The American Review of Tuberculosis and Pulmonary Diseases), The British Journal of Diseases of the Chest (London, since 1907; before 1959 The British Journal of Tuberculosis and Diseases of the Chest), The Thorax (London, since 1946), The Scandinavian Journal of Respiratory Diseases (Copenhagen, since 1925), Bronches (Paris, since 1925), and Zeitschrift für Erkrankungen der Atmungsor-gane mit Folia Bronchologica (Leipzig, since 1900).

REFERENCES

“Bolezni sistemy dykhaniia.” In Mnogotomnoe rukovodstvo po vnutrennim bolezniam, vol. 3. Moscow, 1964.
Bolezni sistemy dykhaniia. Edited by T. Garbiński. Warsaw, 1967. (Translated from Polish.)
Bronkhologiia. Moscow, 1973.

N. R. PALEEV and M. I. PEREL’MAN

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