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September 24, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLIII(13):853-856. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.92500130001

The subject of appendicitis has, during the last decade, received so much attention that one might suppose that there was but little more to learn concerning this rather puzzling disease. The term puzzling can certainly be justly employed, at least when speaking of its etiology, for we must frankly confess that our knowledge of this subject is but little further advanced than when the disease was first named appendicitis. We have, of course, learned much about its symptomatology, but even to-day I know of no surgical disease which more often offers surprises to the operating surgeon. The symptoms, or at least our interpretation of the symptoms, do not always indicate the actual condition of the appendix. I need not narrate to you cases where an appendix in a threatening or dangerous state is found when the symptoms have been comparatively trifling. It is this uncertainty which has mainly led surgeons

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