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December 20, 1913


Author Affiliations

New York Assistant Visiting Surgeon, Fordham Hospital

JAMA. 1913;61(25):2238-2240. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04350260036013

A tentative diagnosis of enterolith has probably been made frequently, only to be disproved at the time of operation. Conversely, most of the enteroliths reported have been discovered in exploratory laparotomies or on the post-mortem table.

The rarity of the condition is no reason for not bearing it in mind when endeavoring to determine the nature of some obscure abdominal condition, with or without intestinal obstruction.

It is self-evident that no classical picture can be drawn, as the signs and symptoms vary with the size, character and origin of the enterolith and its location in the alimentary tract, which may be anywhere from the stomach to the rectum. The diagnosis, therefore, is one which must be made chiefly by elimination, with the assistance of the laboratory and the Roentgen ray.

A positive, preoperative diagnosis may not be essential in all cases, but in some it would have prevented a fatal