PHLEGMONOUS gastritis is an infrequent and acute fulminating, often fatal, inflammation of the stomach which is commonly overlooked in the diagnosis of the acute surgical abdomen. The disease receives little attention in standard textbooks and even comprehensive reviews concerning gastritis1 mention this entity only briefly. Inasmuch as the diagnosis is made at the time of laparotomy in the majority of cases, it is necessary for the surgeon to be familiar with the clinical features and gross pathology. Early recognition of the disease is crucial in patients who survive.2 These considerations prompt the following case report and review of the literature.
The term phlegmonous is derived from a Greek word referring to one of the "humors" of the body, but has come to mean an inflammation of connective tissue leading to ulceration or abscess and although seldom used today is retained here for its descriptive and historical value.