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December 28, 1940


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, Tulane University of Louisiana School of Medicine, the Department of Gastroenterology, Touro Infirmary, and the Charity Hospital.

JAMA. 1940;115(26):2257-2263. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810520019005

In 150,952 privately studied hospital admissions at Touro Infirmary (1926-1939) including 1,810 autopsies and 1,010,711 (1906-1939) cases at Charity Hospital of New Orleans with 6,160 (1936-1939) postmortem observations, primary pathologic changes of the jejunum were illustrated in a single instance each of traumatic regional enteritis and of intussusception, sixteen cases of diverticula, four perforated ulcers and eleven neoplastic involvements, of which seven were benign and four malignant.

This survey indicates an almost inconceivably low incidence. Yet the publications of recent years show increased cognizance of lesions of the small intestine. The number of case reports suggests either an increased incidence, the trend to report unusual pathologic conditions or diagnostic acumen. A study of the individual cases, however, reveals that only obvious lesions have been diagnosed by the clinician and roentgenologist. In many instances the establishment of the diagnosis came as a surprise to the exploring surgeon; most awaited necropsy study.