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August 21, 1948


JAMA. 1948;137(17):1536. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890510036010

Most of the older reports of vagotomy in animals, written before 1900, says Alvarez,1 are of little value today because experimenters cut the vagi so high in the neck or the thorax that they destroyed fibers supplying the larynx, heart, lungs and esophagus. As a result, the animals promptly died. The work of later experimenters lacked roentgenographic studies or direct observation of the effect of vagotomy on the digestive tract. Pavlov and his co-workers demonstrated that vagotomy in dogs abolishes the cephalic phase of the gastric secretion produced by sham feeding. The French investigators Arthaud and Butte reported in 1889 that their vagotomized animals suffered from anorexia, vomiting, loss of weight and cutaneous lesions. Carlson found that bivagotomy in dogs produced a prolonged decrease in gastric tonus. According to Shay, Komarov and Gruenstein, vagotomy produced so much motor paresis in rats that the animals could be kept alive only