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It has long been known that if a case of primary tuberculosis of the peritoneum is operated on, the peritineal cavity merely opened and then closed, the disease undergoes a retrograde change, the patient sometimes recovering permanently.
At one time it was supposed that the iodoform sprinkled in the cavity of the peritoneum had something to do with the cure. Again, others thought that the simple entrance of air was a factor.
It has occurred to me after aiding in the opening of the peritoneum in a case of primary tuberculosis of that cavity, that the surgeon unwittingly performed Pfeiffer's phenomenon. After simply opening the peritoneum evacuating some fluid and closing it the patient began to improve and now, after three months, is nearly well. Instead of the air doing any good, the improvement may have been wrought by the access of some of the patient's blood to the serous
PITFIELD RL. THE CURE OF TUBERCULOUS PERITONITIS.. JAMA. 1906;XLVII(15):1192. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.25210150048002f