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March 28, 1980

Diagnosis of Acute Abdominal Disease

JAMA. 1980;243(12):1282. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300380054032

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Diagnosis of Acute Abdominal Disease begins with several introductory chapters that include an excellent summary of visceral anatomy and a thoughtful neurological explanation of the vagaries of abdominal pain. The enormous importance of an accurate history is stressed, and pertinent physical findings are explained pathophysiologically. Appropriate, although secondary, uses of laboratory and radiologic procedures are well illustrated.

The chapter on inflammatory disease is probably the high point of the volume. Appendicitis receives its much deserved emphasis. One is a little chagrined at the mention of a leukocytosis of 15,000 to 25,000/cu mm as a diagnostic criterion, considering this heralds rather advanced disease. However, the correlation of physical, history, laboratory, and radiologic findings is done well. A second large chapter is concerned with obstructive diseases. Again, the clinical correlation is excellent. Acute cholecystitis is arbitrarily assigned to this chapter and is well discussed.

Shorter chapters deal with perforated viscus, infant abdominal