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August 25, 1956


Author Affiliations

New York; Stamford, Conn.

From the Department of Radiology, Mount Sinai Hospital (Drs. Marshak and Eliasoph), and Flower and Fifth Avenue Hospitals (Dr. Blum).

JAMA. 1956;161(17):1626-1628. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.62970170002005a

Pneumatosis coli has been defined as emphysema of the colon in which intramural pockets of gas are found in the colonic wall and occasionally even in the mesentery. Various names have been utilized to describe this condition—pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis, pseudocysts, gas cysts of the intestine, and intestinal emphysema. Two forms have been described: (1) primary, in which there is diffuse involvement of the colonic wall and mesentery existing without apparent cause, and (2) secondary, in which there are subserous cystic collections of gas usually in association with other disease such as peptic ulcer or carcinoma of the stomach. The primary form is rare. Most cases seem to be associated with two common factors, namely, ulceration of mucous membranes and obstruction of the alimentary tract. Most of the cases in the literature have reported involvement of the small intestine and right side of the colon.1 In a review of 213

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