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Article
October 1934

THE VISCEROSPINAL SYNDROME: A CONFUSING FACTOR IN SURGICAL DIAGNOSIS

Arch Surg. 1934;29(4):661-668. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1934.01180040137011
Abstract

In presenting this subject we realize that we are adding to the already voluminous writings on pseudopathology which have accumulated through the years, and we are fully aware of the futility of any presentation which is merely an addition to the store. However, if by the presentation of certain clinical observations we can stimulate discussion and further active investigation in a field which despite the literature is still somewhat uncharted, a definite contribution will have been made.

In the diagnosis of surgical conditions, acute or chronic, involving the viscera we are usually confronted with certain signs and symptoms which we consider characteristic. Pain, tenderness, nausea and vomiting, abdominal rigidity and distention comprise a chain which surgeons are prone to interpret as signifying pathologic involvement of the viscera. The fact that conditions remote from the apparent location of the disturbance—extravisceral conditions, let us say—may produce signs similar to those of pathologic

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