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Arch Surg. 1921;3(3):641-654. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1921.01110090200008.
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A number of theories in explanation of the fundamental pathologic changes induced by intestinal obstruction have been developed in the last ten or twelve years. These theories represent the work and conclusions of many investigators, and no account of the subject would be complete which did not accord them due recognition and consideration. They may be briefly and conveniently classified under three general heads.

  1. The theory of splanchnic paralysis and circulatory shock which conceded a place of primary importance to the distention and consequent circulatory disturbance in the bowel and their effect on the sympathetic nervous system through the nerve endings in the wall of the intestine. This theory is now of mere historical interest as a result of recent advances in our knowledge of the condition.

  2. McLean and Andries1 and Hartwell, Hoguet and Beekman2 arrived, each group independently of the other, at the conclusion that water loss


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