January 1933


Author Affiliations

Hunter Fellow in Surgery PHILADELPHIA
From the Laboratory of Research Surgery and the Department of Surgery (Division C), University of Pennsylvania.

Arch Surg. 1933;26(1):134-152. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1933.01170010137012

The ease with which fluids can be introduced through the rectum into the colon has resulted in the widespread use of this method for the administration of a variety of substances. There is undoubtedly a paucity of evidence from carefully controlled experiments on the ability of the colonic mucous membrane to absorb protein, fat or carbohydrate. It is well known that the rectal administration of ether results in general anesthesia. More recently the success with which narcosis may be produced by the rectal administration of sodium amytal and avertin proves that fairly complicated molecules may be absorbed by the mucosa of the large bowel. The sedative effect produced by the colonic administration of chloral hydrate or sodium bromide is a well established clinical phenomenon. The bromide ion, when administered rectally in sufficient amounts, can be recovered from the urine, the sweat and the lacrimal secretions. Recently, Cohn,1 in this

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