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February 22, 1980

Gastrointestinal Physiology: The Essentials

Author Affiliations

Upstate Medical Center State University of New York Syracuse

JAMA. 1980;243(8):804. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300340062031

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This deceptively short introduction to gastrointestinal (GI) physiology is, in reality, a complete review of GI function. The content of the monograph includes general GI functions, secretion, and absorption. Considering its brevity, the book, although it has no references, is well indexed. It succeeds in explaining physiological concepts in a clear manner with simple and original illustrations. Difficult concepts such as the intestinal countercurrent exchange mechanism are presented in a concise and dynamic graphic manner.

A unique feature is the brief summaries at the end of all chapters and a comprehensive summary in the final chapter, which can be particularly helpful to the medical and graduate student of GI physiology.

Clinical examples of GI pathophysiology are presented for each topic. They include gastric mucosal damage and acid back diffusion, ischemia of the bowel, reflux esophagitis, gastric outlet obstruction, mucosal barrier breakage, carbohydrate malabsorption, and many others. For the most part,