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March 10, 1934


Author Affiliations

From the Surgical Service of the Union Memorial Hospital.

JAMA. 1934;102(10):735-739. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.02750100001001

The drinking of corrosive liquids, whether acids or alkalis, is not an infrequent occurrence. Usually done accidentally, it is, however, an occasional method of attempted suicide. The results of this violent insult to the walls of the upper digestive tract vary tremendously. Between the minor ulcerations in the mouth and pharynx of the individual who realized his mistake or lost his nerve and the major lesions in the esophagus and stomach are seen many examples of what injury the irritating fluids can inflict. Probably the earliest report of a gastric lesion from such a cause is that of Robert1 in 1828, whose patient had swallowed sulphuric acid and died after nine weeks. Postmortem examination revealed no pathologic changes in the esophagus, but there were ulcerated areas in the cardiac end of the stomach and the pylorus was markedly contracted. By 1902, Quénu and Petit2 were able to collect

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