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July 13, 1970

Routine Roentgenographic Examinations

Author Affiliations

Hines, Ill

JAMA. 1970;213(2):300. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170280058024

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To the Editor:—  Some physicians don't seem to distinguish between roentgenographic tests done in hospitals because they are clinically indicated and those done as a survey procedure.In our hospital (and, I believe, in quite a few others) it became customary to obtain a routine barium enema on every patient who is to have an operation for inguinal hernia. The rationale given was that some surgeons believed that neoplasm of the colon may lead to the development of inguinal hernia, and therefore, such a survey was worth doing. I know of no reference in the medical literature to any study showing how often carcinoma of the colon was found in this way.My colleague, Dr. Thomas Brendel, and I looked into this by checking the records at Hines Veterans Administration Hospital of all patients having a herniorrhaphy in 1966. There were 312 patients in this group. They all had a