Chronic intestinal stasis is gradually coining to be regarded as a definite pathological entity and as the older
methods of examination become more accurate, and the newer
forms of investigation more developed and reliable, its importance will be better understood and the significant part
it plays in the etiology of many, and varied, diseases will
be more fulljr realised.
The study of intestinal delay demands a detailed acquaintance with the anatomy, human and comparative, and the
physiology of the gastro-intestinal tract.
All cases of intestinal delay are due to either difficulty in propulsion of the intestinal contents, or some interference with normal defaecation, but many varieties, or subdivisions, exist and have been fully considered in the present
The symptoms of the condition may be local and confined
to the alimentary tract.but in the majority of the cases toxic
substances are absorbed from the bowel in quantities greater
than the emunctories can eliminate, and chronic auto-intoxication occurs. But some patients suffer from severe and advanced forms of intestinal stasis, and yet display no toxic
manifestations, and the writer has endeavoured to investigate, more fully,this interesting point.
Recently much attention has been directed to organic
efficiency tests, and although it must be admitted that
they are not yet universally accepted as accurate and reliable, nevertheless many authorities consider that they
form extremely valuable methods of investigation. The
writer has availed himself of two such tests, the laevuloae
test and the haemoclasic crisis, for the determination of
hepatic efficiency in patients suffering from chronic intestinal stasis.
Analysis of the results has led him to the conclusion
that auto-intoxication exists as a result of the lowering
of the protective properties of the liver, and that provided the hepatic efficiency be normal, toxic manifestations
do not occur.
The relative merits of medical and surgical treatment
have been considered and the conclusions drawn that the efficiency of non-operative, and even non-purgative, remedial
measures is, probably, greater than is, at present, realised
and that, in the majority of cases, surgical intervention
should not be recommended until it has been ascertained that
relief cannot be obtained by the less serious and more conservative procedures.