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December 14, 1935


JAMA. 1935;105(24):1982. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.92760500001009

There have been relatively few cases of intestinal emphysema reported in the literature. Those which have been reported have been associated either with an acute inflammatory process as a result of infection of the intestinal tract, or with injury or some congenital abnormality in conjunction with an inflammatory process. Mackenzie1 in 1894 reported a case of emphysema of the jejunum. Numerous vesicles of air were found in the submucous tissue and the whole mucous membrane was congested. Hemorrhage into the intestine had taken place and no cause could be found. The patient had acute and chronic pulmonary tuberculosis, but there were no signs either of ulceration or of tubercles in the intestine. Nitch and Shattock2 in 1919 reported two such cases. These authors attempted without success to place the etiology of their cases and made extensive studies. The possibilities suggested and ruled out by them were as follows: (1) bacterial infection by B. aerogenes, B. oedematiens, B. oedematis-maligni or B. coli;