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December 1956


Author Affiliations

University of Washington, Seattle.

AMA Arch Surg. 1956;73(6):1047-1049. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1956.01280060147032

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IN THE category of esophageal disease there reside several interesting clinical entities. Considerable progress has been made in recent years towards a better understanding of the esophagus. Surgeons are probing this area on a broad plane. Usually, such interest is the forerunner of important accomplishments to come. Following the pattern so commonly observed in medicine, the development of a proper therapeutic approach has preceded the development of equivalent information concerning etiology. It should be pointed out that in treatment, the most important guide to optimum therapy has been based upon a knowledge of the etiology of the disease.

One of the fascinating diseases of the esophagus is cardiospasm. As a perpetrator of illness adversely affecting society, it has gathered various aliases, viz., achalasia, megaesophagus, phrenospasm, esophagospasm, etc. The disease itself is a concise clinical entity, but with incompletely understood anatomic and physiologic abnormalities. Characteristically, there is spasm of the lower

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