The mechanism by which death results from intestinal obstruction remains a much debated question. The literature on this subject is voluminous, and extensive experimentation has led to dissension rather than to agreement. The reports are characterized by general similarity in the essential results of experimentation and by diversity of interpretation. No attempt will be made here to analyze these reports. The analysis by Cooper1 considered 161 articles, and reflected the divergent views of the authors. He reviewed the evidence and interpretations and closed his summary with the unanswered question: "What is the cause of death in high intestinal obstruction?"
In studies on shock of various origin in man and on experimental shock, we are struck by the similarity between that condition and the phenomena resulting from intestinal obstruction. When shock is induced in dogs without trauma and without the complicating factor of deep narcosis, a characteristic group of symptoms