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November 4, 1905


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1905;XLV(19):1389-1394. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.52510190025001f

When the stomach fails to empty itself within a reasonable time after the taking of food, this condition is termed food stagnation. It differs in degree, depending, in part, on the character of the food taken, still more on the morbid state giving rise to the condition. Semi-liquid or pultaceous food should leave the stomach in four or five hours, and if it is retained longer there is a certain degree of stagnation. An ordinary meal composed of a variety of foods is the proper test for food stagnation. With this meal the stomach should be emptied, according to Riegel, within seven hours, and the presence of contents beyond that time is evidence of food stagnation. There are conditions, however, in which the liquid food is retained for a much longer period than five hours, and solid foods are retained for twenty-four hours or longer. Under such circumstances, we have

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