Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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The History of Crohn’s Disease

  • Harry D. Fein

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It is probable that Morgagni, as early as 1769 in De Sedibus et Causis Morborum (“The Seats and Causes of Diseases”), gave the first clinical description of a case of Crohn’s disease. In 1865, probably the first clinical and pathological description of ulcerative colitis was recorded in the annals of the Union Army Medical Corps. It was not until 1909 that Braun described several cases of inflammatory disease masses involving the small intestine. Dalziel in 1913 reported, in detail, six cases similar to those of Braun, in which tuberculosis (though suspected) was excluded by careful bacteriological studies. This evoked some acceptance that a benign, chronic, granulomatous condition of the small intestine existed which was not tuberculosis.