The concept of the "closed loop" in acute intestinal obstruction is an important one. Clinically, this condition has been related to early fatal termination; experimentally, studies on closed loops have been made under varied conditions to better understand the precise mechanism of death in acute intestinal obstruction. These experiments and their relation clinically to complete obstruction have been concerned almost entirely with the small intestine.* Some of these observations have been applied to the colon by inference. However, there are no data available pertaining to the entire isolated colon closed at each end.
Bacteremia was only rarely found in fatal cases of acute intestinal obstruction by McKenna.3 Hartwell and others,4 after experimental studies on dogs, believed that death in intestinal obstruction was due to dehydration and to a toxin in the circulating blood. Murphy and Brooks5 recovered toxic material from the thoracic ducts of animals which previously