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ARTICLE |

HAS GASTRIC ANALYSIS ANY VALUE?

Lester R. Dragstedt, M.D.
AMA Arch Surg. 1952;64(2):135-137. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1952.01260010147001.
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IN AN EDITORIAL written in 1943 for Gastroenterology, Rudolph Schindler1 suggested that in military hospitals gastric analysis be abandoned as a routine method. In the same issue, Walter C. Alvarez2 expressed his dissatisfaction with this time-honored test in a somewhat similar vein. He pointed out, "The trouble is that most of the acid values commonly reported by the laboratory are perfectly compatible with a diagnosis of either normal stomach, gastritis, gastric ulcer, duodenal ulcer, gall stone or gastric cancer." Both Schindler and Alvarez had in mind the measurement of the concentration of free hydrochloric acid in a sample of gastric content removed either one hour after the administration of an Ewald meal or of fractional samples of gastric content removed at 10- or 15-minute intervals. It is probable that most internists and surgeons today would agree that gastric analysis by means of the Ewald test meal, the fractional

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