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November 17, 1906


JAMA. 1906;XLVII(20):1659. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.02520200055005

While the value of the stomach tube as a diagnostic agent can not be denied, it is safe to affirm that there are drawbacks to its use, which, at times, are serious. Aside from the definite contraindications to the use of the tube, some patients are so impressed by the obvious discomforts attending its use, and are rendered so nervous by the thought of it, that they refuse point blank to have the instrument introduced. After the test meal has been given, and has been successfully withdrawn, there is always more or less doubt whether the secretion of the acid and ferments of the stomach can be regarded, under the peculiar circumstances, as even approximately normal. The test meal is bland and unirritating and hardly comparable in stimulating power to an ordinary meal, and, moreover, the psychic condition of the patient is very frequently such that some disturbance in the