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January 18, 1965

The Differential Diagnosis of Diarrhea

JAMA. 1965;191(3):255. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080030099025

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This is a disappointing book. The title and introductory remarks indicate an aim "to discuss and organize in an accessible form the causes of diarrhea and to point to the means of arriving at the correct diagnosis." Although the individual sections are informative, the volume as a whole fails to fulfill its objective of providing an approach to the differential diagnosis of the common and important clinical problem of diarrhea. To the physician who confronts a patient with diarrhea, this book is of little help in indicating when proctoscopy should be done, at what stage x-rays might be helpful, when a thorough search for parasites should be made, or, indeed, what constitutes a logical sequence of use of the many diagnostic tests and maneuvers described.

The book consists of chapters in which various authorities discuss such topics as bacterial and viral diarrhea, neoplasms, malabsorption, inflammatory disease of the gut, and

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