[The history of bronchial asthma].
ABSTRACT The history of bronchial asthma from ancient times is traced. The first accounts of asthma in the ancient Greeks and Romans with clinical descriptions by Aretus of Cappadocia and Aulus Celsus Cornelius are recounted. These are followed by the medieval habits of the Middle East as described by Moises Maimonides. The Renaissance is witness to a new scientific fervor in postulating theories on the pathogenesis of bronchial asthma by van Helmont, Willis and Floyer. The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries will see the discovery of the anatomical foundation of bronchial asthma thanks largely to the technical advances in the diagnostic field by Auerbrugge and Laennec. The allergic nature of bronchial asthma is studied by Salter. S Meltzer's hypothesis of histamine release as the pathogenesis of bronchial asthma leads the way for the twentieth century's leading discoveries.