FOR MANY years investigators have been endeavoring to solve the problem of the cause of death from intestinal obstruction. The complexity of factors associated with this disease and the present lack of sufficient direct evidence to support any single explanation for morbidity and death have been the principal reasons for the lack of agreement among surgeons as to the importance of basic factors operating during the disease process.
From the voluminous mass of experimental and clinical data which has accumulated, many theories have evolved in an attempt to explain the lethal mechanisms and pathologic alterations occurring during the course of the disease. The present status of these many hypotheses has been carefully evaluated recently by Wangensteen,1 Knight and Slome,2 Donalson3 and Besser4 and need not be reviewed in this paper.
The majority of recent experimental work on intestinal obstruction has placed the emphasis on the factors