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To the Editor:—
Is it not time to protest against the practice of roentgenologists prescribing strong cathartics preceding an examination of the bowel? In this neighborhood it is apparently the custom to order 3 teaspoons of compound senna (licorice) powder or an ounce of castor oil.Is it any wonder that a large number of the patients show a picture of irritable or spastic colon? In 2 patients who showed violently active colon and spasms, I have had the barium enema repeated two and three days later and found the colon quiescent and not even suggestive of spastic colon. A number of the better roentgenologists have told me that they are no longer committing themselves to a diagnosis of spastic colon, as it is too common a finding.But more important is the danger when powerful cathartics are prescribed for patients whose condition is unknown, and without any history being
Walter A. Bastedo. CATHARTICS PREVIOUS TO ROENTGEN EXAMINATION. JAMA. 1944;125(4):302. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850220064025