The use of heat in the treatment of abdominal conditions, particularly peritonitis or localized abscesses, has become a frequent procedure in hospitals. Patients as a rule state that they feel better when such treatment is instituted, and the relief from pain which heat affords in intestinal or pelvic conditions is commonly known.
Some conflict of opinion is evident in the literature concerning the effect of heat applied locally to the abdomen. Among those who have found a rise in temperature within the abdomen after the application of heat to the outside of the abdomen are von Ewald,1 von Brieger,1 Wendriner,1 Winternitz2 and Eichler and Schemel.3 These authors used hot steam or jets of hot water to induce the increase in temperature. Chelmonski,1 using hot water bottles, induced a rise of 2 C. within the abdomen, while Stengel and Hopkins,4 using the same method,