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To the Editor:—
The papers on regional enteritis by H. L. Bockus and H. W. Cave in The Journal, February 24, make it clear that the last word on this condition, which Homans and Hass aptly term "a clinical, not a pathological, entity" is yet to be written. Until the etiology is resolved, the approach to treatment must continue to be largely empirical. That surgery per se is not the final solution is evident from the frequency of postoperative recurrences. When manifestations such as stenosis, ulceration, abscess or fistulous formation present themselves, surgery (whether conceived as curative or only palliative) will, of course, be indicated. Yet, as S. F. Marshall points out (Regional Ileitis, New England J. Med.222:375 [March 7] 1940), "the patient with widespread involvement of the small intestine may of necessity [have to] be given medical treatment, because it is impossible to remove all the diseased
Bearse C. REGIONAL ENTERITIS. JAMA. 1945;127(16):1075. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860160051020