Last year J. W. Draper Maury1 published the results of his study on intestinal obstruction based on observations made on 400 lesions, experimentally produced.
His observations led him to suggest the idea that the duodenum (dogs), independent of the secretions thrown into it from the stomach, liver, and pancreas, secretes something which is essential to the life of the animal. Any interference with this hypothetical secretion soon ends in "physiologic death." He also suggests that this protective secretion is furnished by the first 35 cm. of the duodenum and that its presence in the lower portion of the intestine will suffice to prevent death.
Independent of Maury, and while working on an entirely different problem, which, however, involved certain surgical operations on the pancreas, the bile-ducts, and the duodenum, I observed that whenever the operations involved the duct-bearing portion of the duodenum the mortality was very high without any
MATTHEWS SA. ONE OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE DUODENUM. JAMA. 1910;55(4):293-295. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.04330040029009