In spite of the fact that absolute evidence has not been obtained as to the cause of the symptoms and death in cases of mechanical obstruction, some writers emphasize distention as a fundamental etiologic factor. The disturbed physicochemical balance of the body has been considered a contributing factor. Herrin and Meeks1 have reported that the symptoms of dehydration, decrease in blood volume, loss of electrolytes, alkalosis and especially dechlorinization were really the basis for the cause of death in cases of obstruction and that these symptoms could be reproduced in experimental animals by distending a segment of intestine to a relatively high air pressure. Carlson2 has produced a condition similar to simple obstruction by the same procedure. The remarkable results obtained by Wangensteen3 by the use of continuous suction with a nasal catheter in cases of simple obstruction may be attributed either to the relief of distention
HIBBARD JS. GASEOUS DISTENTION ASSOCIATED WITH MECHANICAL OBSTRUCTION OF THE INTESTINE. Arch Surg. 1936;33(1):146–167. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1936.01190010149011
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