In 1932 Crohn, Ginzburg and Oppenheimer1 described a disease entity which they termed regional ileitis and which they brilliantly isolated from a previously confused group of benign inflammatory lesions of the intestine. To this original description little has been added besides confirmatory clinical and pathologic observations.2 Prior to 1932, descriptions of the disease are to be found only under such general headings as "nonspecific granulomas," "benign granulomas" or "infectious granulomas" in the American literature, and as "inflammatory tumors" or "phlegmons of the intestine" in European literature. In 1933 Harris, Bell and Brunn,3 and Brown, Bargen and Weber4 reported cases in which the disease involved portions of the intestine other than the terminal 8 or 10 inches of the ileum; namely, the jejunum, proximal ileum and colon. For the disease therefore they suggest the more inclusive names cicatrizing enteritis3 and nonspecific regional enteritis.4
The etiology of the disease
Bisgard JD, Henske JA. REGIONAL ILEITIS (CROHN). JAMA. 1937;108(7):550–551. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.92780070003010b
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