[Skip to Navigation]
November 2, 1912


JAMA. 1912;LIX(18):1614-1617. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270110028011

The term "ileus" literally means a twist, but by usage it has come to mean any condition in which the onward flow of intestinal contents is impeded. Such conditions can be classified into two varieties: First, mechanical ileus, which includes all kinks and twists in the bowel, adhesions constricting the lumen, strangulations by internal and external hernia and any other like physical conditions; second, the adynamic ileus, which simply means a paralysis of a smaller or larger part of the musculature of the bowel. In the former, the cause is evident; in the latter it is undetermined. Just what should cause a paralysis of the bowel. we do not know absolutely. The clinical picture, however, with its classical symptoms of pain, vomiting, meteorism and coprostasis is, in each condition, identical. A differentiation between the two is, at least for our present purpose, not necessary. We do not intend to discuss