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January 11, 1965


Author Affiliations

Miami Beach

JAMA. 1965;191(2):144. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080020072033

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To the Editor:—  In the Oct 5, 1964, issue of The Journal (190:68) appears a communication, "Electrocautery in Percutaneous Liver Biopsy." Although the liver is foreign to my specialty (ENT), I am sufficiently familiar with the use of physical agents to know that the authors are not informed on the difference between electrocauterization and electrocoagulation. If the source of energy for the procedure was a Bovie apparatus, the process was not cauterization.I am not trying to quibble about words and their definitions, but the title of the report is misleading and confusing. With electrocauterization one produces carbonization of tissue; with electrocoagulation the tissue elements are actually destroyed and coagulation, not carbonization, takes place. Electrodesiccation, a third technique, produces a dehydration of the tissue elements. If the authors actually meant electrocauterization, why did they use a high frequency apparatus for the energy source? When one speaks of electrocauterization, the

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