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December 5, 1931


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Physiology, Jefferson Medical College.

JAMA. 1931;97(23):1663-1668. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02730230005002

My purpose in this communication is to give a brief account of the present status of knowledge of the mechanism controlling the emptying of the stomach, and to add some new information, obtained in the laboratory of the Department of Physiology, Jefferson Medical College, which may shed some light on the more controversial aspects of the subject. A theory of the mechanism regulating gastric evacuation will be outlined, which cannot be described as new but in which I shall attempt a new orientation of the points of view held by various students of the subject at the present time.

The history of the early physiology of gastric evacuation is an account of gradually increasing emphasis on the rôle of the pyloric sphincter, reaching its climax in the "acid control" theory of Cannon.1 This theory, which appears to be a logical interpretation of the data then available, constituted the sphincter