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The author develops the thesis that all the organs of the gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary tracts should be considered as belonging to a single system. This conclusion is based on the fact that they have a common embryologic origin, similar nervous and reflex pathways, the various organs are frequently invaded by identical bacteria and there is often a pronounced familial predisposition to disease of one or more units of this system. These and other factors prove the close interrelationship in a pathologic and clinical sense between various parts of the system and help to explain the frequent coexistence of chronic disease in the gallbladder, appendix, duodenum, stomach and liver. This conception also throws some light on residual symptoms so frequently present after removal of a chronically involved gallbladder or appendix, since several organs or even the entire system are usually involved and removal of the gallbladder or appendix serves only to
Inter-Relation of Abdominal Diseases. JAMA. 1941;117(6):493-494. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820320085029