The problems in connection with intestinal obstruction,1 aside from the investigation of the causes and best methods of treatment, are concerned chiefly with the explanation of the fulminant symptoms which follow an acute occlusion and which lead rapidly to death, unless the obstruction be promptly relieved. Such symptoms, in their intensity and sudden onset, seem almost out of proportion to the mere retention of intestinal contents, especially since fecal impaction, with an equally complete retention, may persist for a long time without such a violent reaction. Various hypotheses have been offered, and particularly in recent years a number of investigators have endeavored to find an explanation of these remarkable symptoms.
As is well known to every surgeon, vomiting, collapse, disturbances of blood pressure, sweating, etc., together with distension and more or less pain, follow quickly on an intestinal occlusion, and if this be not relieved a later train of
McCLURE RD. AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY OF INTESTINAL OBSTRUCTION.. JAMA. 1907;XLIX(12):1003-1006. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.25320120025002e