In a survey of the literature on the subject of intestinal obstruction, one is struck by the looseness and inaccuracy of the terms used to describe the various conditions encountered.
The words obstruction, occlusion, atresia, stenosis and aplasia are often interchanged, which confuses the reader as well as distorts the meaning of the writer. For this reason an explanation of the terms as used here is indicated.
By obstruction is meant any blocking or clogging of the lumen of the intestine which hinders the passage of intestinal contents. An occlusion is a complete closure of the lumen of the intestine; it is commonly referred to as a complete obstruction. Atresia, as its Greek derivation β-τρητος without a boring) implies, is an imperforation, an absence or a closure of the intestinal lumen. The word has been used by many, in this strict sense, but to most it signifies not only the
STENSON W. DUODENAL OCCLUSION IN THE NEWBORNSUCCESSFUL OPERATION ON A PREMATURE TWIN. Am J Dis Child. 1938;56(5):1066–1081. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1938.01980170112015
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