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April 1961

Phytobezoars (Diospyrobezoars): A Clinicopathologic Correlation and Review of Six Cases

Author Affiliations

From the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D.C. Dr. Delia is now Director of Pathology, Conway Hospital, Conway, S.C.

Arch Surg. 1961;82(4):579-583. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300100093010

Phytobezoars are infrequently encountered in the study of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and are therefore considered to be of minor importance. Their rarity does not detract from, but rather enhances, the interest which has been focused on the subject for many years. The purpose of this paper is to comment upon the history and pathogenesis of this disease and to describe 6 clinical cases currently on file at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.

Review of Literature  The term "bezoar" originated from either an Arabic ("badzehr") or a Persian ("padzahr") root meaning "antidote" or "counterpoison."1 In ancient times, the concretions found in the stomachs of various animals and in man were believed to be endowed with magical or mystical powers to cure illnesses. Therefore, they were considered to be counterpoisons or antidotes. An excellent account of the origin and history of bezoars can be found in an article

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