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November 3, 1934


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, University of California Medical School.

JAMA. 1934;103(18):1366-1372. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.02750440026007

Colitis is a much used and abused term, and most certainly the medical profession should limit its application to include only inflammatory states of the large bowel. These inflammations, from simple catarrhal to chronic ulcerative colitis, as well as related conditions producing definite pathologic lesions, have been well demonstrated, and their causative agents have been determined, ranging from chemical poisons, certain deficiency states, as noted in pellagra and sprue, protozoan infestations and, above all, bacterial infections.

A diagnosis establishing a case of acute or chronic bowel disorder, in the foregoing category, as an actual colitis affords some satisfaction in classifying the disorder and some comfort in the knowledge that one may proceed with therapy more or less promising and universally recognized. There still remain chronic constipation and intermittent diarrhea to plague, confound and divide the profession. These complaints represent by far the greater proportion of chronic bowel disorders that occur

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