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August 1940


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases, University of Michigan Medical School.

Am J Dis Child. 1940;60(2):262-282. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1940.02000020016003

It is recognized that megacolon is an uncommon disease; that the exact etiology is not known, though probably it is caused by an imbalance of the autonomic nerve supply to the colon, and that there had been no really satisfactory method of treatment up to twelve years ago.

The successful results of R. B. Wade's operation, on May 26, 1926, left lumbar sympathetic ramisection on a 10 year old boy suffering from megacolon, led to further trial and confirmation of the value of interruption of the sympathetic nerves to the colon.1 Technical and anatomic modifications of interruption of the sympathetic nerves by Judd and Adson and Rankin and Learmonth have given good results.2 Therapeutic management of megacolon, previously stalemated, is now sucessful in the majority of those operated on. Operation, however, does not immediately restore the normal functional activity of the bowel. It is usually necessary to enlist

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