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July 7, 1951


Author Affiliations

Dallas, Texas

JAMA. 1951;146(10):920-923. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670100040010

Pneumoperitoneum is a simple and relatively harmless procedure. Since Alvarez1 introduced the use of carbon dioxide, in 1921, as the gas for pneumoperitoneum, many hundreds of pneumoperitoneum studies have been made throughout this country with but few untoward effects.

As a means of roentgenologic diagnosis, pneumoperitoneum was proclaimed by Case2 in 1921 to be one of the instances of roentgenologic progress. He called this procedure "the most brilliant diagnostic accomplishment in the last five or six years of roentgenological development."

Excellent scientific papers by Stewart and Stein,3 Stein and Arens,4 Lewis,5 Sante,6 Faulkner,7 Stein,8 Peterson,9 Martin,10 Rubin11 and others have not been able to popularize this excellent diagnostic procedure.

There is still considerable hesitancy on the part of radiologists to develop pneumoperitoneum as a part of their diagnostic procedures. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the contraindications