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April 8, 1950


Author Affiliations

New York

From the Department of Medicine and Psychiatry of the Cornell University Medical College and the New York Hospital.

JAMA. 1950;142(14):1044-1048. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910320006002

The relationship between periods of emotional stress and the onset and exacerbation of symptoms in patients with chronic ulcerative colitis has been well established. In addition distinct personality features and behavior patterns have been found in these patients.1 Aside from the work of Lium,2 little experimental work has been done to clarify the physiologic mechanisms through which such a disease process comes about in human beings.

A unique opportunity to study the function and behavior of the human colon was presented in 4 fistulous subjects (fig. 1). Subject A, who was observed daily for eight weeks, was a man aged 26 who had had ulcerative colitis for six years and had had a large prolapse of ascending colon and cecum through an old cecostomy wound. Subject B, studied daily for four weeks, was a plumber aged 54, who had a large prolapse of descending colon and sigmoid through