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January 1948


Author Affiliations

From the University of Louisville School of Medicine and the Surgical Departments of Louisville General Hospital and the Children's Free Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1948;56(1):65-74. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1948.01240010068008

IN 1815 Meckel described an anomaly of the distal ileum in the form of a diverticulum that occurred in the terminal 30 inches (76 cm.) of the ileum. From that time, this congenital anomaly has been known as Meckel's diverticulum and has been reported by pathologists as having been found in from 2 to 4 per cent of all patients on whom autopsy is performed. A large number of persons probably live their normal span of life with a Meckel diverticulum and at no time have any definite symptoms referable to the condition. In others, the diverticulum may be observed as an incidental finding during an operation for some other condition, such as routine pelvic laparotomy or interval appendectomy. On the other hand, Meckel's diverticulum may make its presence known in a dramatic manner in the first few months or the first few years of life, or it may not

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