Crohn’s disease

  • Joseph B. Kirsner


Inflammatory bowel disease descriptively consistent with Crohn’s disease apparently was observed three hundred years ago, possibly earlier in Carson’s “Iliac Passion.”279 Wilhelm Fabry280 (Guilhelmus Fabricius Hildanus) of Hilden-Cologne, Germany (1560–1629), had noted at autopsy in a boy who had experienced persistent “subhepatic pain” that “the cecum (was) contracted and invaginated into the ileum⋯ such that it was not possible for anything to pass from the proximal intestine into the colon.” On extracting the cecum, it was ulcerated and fibrous. J.H. Baron,281 in a review of early instances of possible Crohn’s disease, cites J.J. Bernier et al.282 on La Maladie de Louis XIII. Baron writes “⋯ Louis XIII is known to have been prone to attacks of diarrhea for decades, associated with fever and a rectal abscess that discharged spontaneously. In 1642, he experienced bloody diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain and a perianal abscess or fistula. He died the following year, at age 42. Autopsy revealed ulcerations of small and large bowel, with abscesses and fistulas, compatible with ileocecal tuberculosis or regional enteritis.” The noted pathologist G.B. Morgagni283 of Forli, Italy (1682–1771) in his “De Sedibus et Causis Morborum” in 1761, described ulcerations and perforation of an inflamed, narrowed distal ileum and enlarged mesenteric lymph nodes in a young man of 20 with a history of diarrhea and fever culminating in death after 14 days


Inflammatory Bowel Disease Ulcerative Colitis Terminal Ileum Terminal Ileitis Granulomatous Colitis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Crohn’s Disease - Origins

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Crohn’s Disease - Animal and Experimental Observations

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Abdominal Trauma

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The Mt. Sinai (New York) Experience

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Crohn’s Disease of the Colon

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More Early 20th Century Reports (CD)

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph B. Kirsner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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