A breakthrough in the treatment of empyema: what we have learnt 50 years on from Tillett and Sherry’s original case report

Landmark Case Report; Respiratory Medicine
Original Case Report
10.1102/1470-5206.2004.9001
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L4-L7
A breakthrough in the treatment of empyema: what we have learnt 50 years on from Tillett and Sherry’s original case report

The scientists William S. Tillett and Sol Sherry were responsible for the introduction of intrapleural fibrinolytics as therapeutic agents, thus supplementing antimicrobial therapy in the treatment of empyema. They were the first to suggest the possibility that the use of these drugs in empyema might obviate the need for radical surgical procedures. This article highlights their original work and contributions in this field.

Tillett and Sherry’s original paper (Tillett WS, Sherry S. The effect in patients of streptococcal fibrinolysis (streptokinase) and streptococcal desoxyribonuclease on fibrinous, purulent and sanguinous pleural exudations) was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation in 1949 (J Clin Invest 1949; 28: 173-90). The full article is reproduced online here, and we are grateful to the original publishers (www.jci.org) for permission to do this. The paper has been reproduced exactly as it originally appeared in print; the only alteration that has been made is to the layout.
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Editor-in-Chief

Frank Cross
Consultant Vascular and General Surgeon
The London Clinic, UK

Editors

Neil Barnes
Consultant Physician
Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK
Ali Jawad
Professor of Rheumatology
Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK

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