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April 1950


Author Affiliations

From the Pediatric Service of the New York Foundling Hospital.

Am J Dis Child. 1950;79(4):666-672. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1950.04040010681006

THE TERM "colic" has been considered by almost all writers on the subject as merely a symptom: paroxysmal abdominal pain. However, the characteristic clinical picture in infants and the inability to explain the cause of this condition on a definite pathologic basis have resulted in "colic" persisting in pediatric literature as a separate entity. Infantile colic is commonest in the first three months of life but also occurs, although much less frequently, in the second quarter of the first year.

Attacks of colic usually begin suddenly, with an agonizing, loud and more or less continuous cry, accompanied with congestion or a somewhat cyanotic appearance of the face with pinched features. The abdomen is distended with the legs flexed on the abdomen. The feet are often cold. The arms may be flexed with the fists clenched and drawn to the chest. These paroxysms end abruptly after a few minutes or hours,

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