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March 2, 1940

The Diagnosis and Treatment of Diseases of the Esophagus

JAMA. 1940;114(9):824. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810090102030

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This is a good book and a much needed one. For years most patients with diseases of the esophagus have been receiving poor treatment largely because there are so few men in the world who have enough material of this one type to become expert in diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately also, for some curious reason, some of the men who have written the few available books and articles on the esophagus seem to have been unaware of the fact that in 1898 Russell, of England, devised a simple apparatus by means of which strictures in the esophagus and spasmodic contractures at the cardia can be dilated with a high degree of safety. A recently published book on the esophagus still advocated the retrograde attack on cardiospasm through a fistula in the stomach. As Vinson says (p. 14), gastrostomy is associated with a surprisingly high mortality; it rarely provides grateful palliation

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