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Long before the pathology of appendicitis was so well pointed out by Fitz in his classical paper in 1886, the profession understood that there was a disease in or around the cecum that had a large mortality. Even the ancients recognized a fatal swelling in the right inguinal region. The appendix was recognized anatomically in the sixteenth century. The early half of the nineteenth century saw an increasing interest in the disease now called appendicitis. John Burne published two interesting articles in the 30's (1837 and 1839), and, while he was hampered by the unsurgical methods then in vogue, he shows much ready knowledge of the subject and speaks of the disease as of "frequent occurrence, always dangerous, often fatal and characterized by a train of symptoms so peculiar and marked as to render the recognition of them certain and not difficult." His first paper records eight cases, of which
BARRETT CW. THE MORTALITY OF APPENDICITIS.. JAMA. 1905;XLIV(15):1180–1184. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.92500420021002b