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April 1970

Corrosive Injuries of the Stomach

Author Affiliations

San Francisco
From the departments of surgery of the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, and the San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco.

Arch Surg. 1970;100(4):409-413. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1970.01340220085015

Accidental or suicidal ingestion of corrosives usually injures the oropharynx and esophagus. Strong alkalies affect the esophageal mucosa most severely, and in only 20% of the cases is the stomach involved.1,2 Concentrated acids, however, tend to spare the esophagus and produce their major corrosive effects within the stomach because of the transit time and the resistance of the esophageal squamous epithelium.3-5

The severity of corrosive injuries to the stomach is directly related to the agent ingested and its concentration and duration of contact with the viscus.6 Corrosive substances have been classified by Bosch del Marco7 into four major categories: (1) fixatives, such as phenolic acid and formaldehyde solution; (2) destructive substances, such as sulfuric acid, nitric acid, and hydrochloric acid; (3) softeners, such as alkalies, disinfectants (Lysol), and lye; and (4) weak substances, such as oxalic acid and arsenic.

Robert,8 in 1828, was the first

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