ALL MEN interested in medical pathology seem to believe that there is a hereditary factor present in the individual susceptibility to disease. Particularly does this belief apply to the occurrence of pathologic processes of unknown cause.
When the etiology of any one of the idiopathic conditions is finally understood, all physicians may be quite amazed that the simplicity of that etiology remained so long undiscovered.
We feel that all physicians should always be alert to the possibility of occurrence of significant results of presently available common laboratory examinations which might point toward the solution of etiologic problems, even though the tests now seem to apply to entirely different aspects of the disease in question.
With these ideas in mind, we have chosen five pathologic entities of obscure etiology. They are duodenal ulcer, malignant neoplasms of the gastrointestinal tract, chronic ulcerative colitis, chronic cholecystitis with cholelithiasis, and pulmonary embolism proved at