THE LENGTH OF THE LARGE AND THE SMALL INTESTINE IN YOUNG CHILDREN
Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine
Assistant Resident Physician, Babies' Hospital NEW YORK The not uncommon evidence of an unusually long large intestine disclosed by roentgen-ray examinations of the intestinal tract has evoked very little interest until recent times. Scant reference is made in the literature of the past twenty-five years to the association of such conditions with serious intestinal disturbance. Works on anatomy, as a rule, give only a usual average length for the large and small intestine in adults. The only
... hority listed in the Index Medicus who gives any data on intestinal measurements is Curschman, who, in 1894, published observations on the relationship between the large intestine and body lengths in adults, and described a possible correlation between unusual measurements and the intestinal symptomatology of certain cases. The observations reported in the present paper are based on measurements made at necropsy of the large intestine, small intestine and body length in 185 children, taken, for the most part, consecutively in the postmortem room of the Babies' Hospital. In the tabulation there have been compared the length of the large and the small intestine with the length of the body, and the length of the large intestine with the length of the small intestine. Record was made in each instance of the age, sex, condition of development and the anatomic diagnosis at necropsy. An investigation was also made to ascertain whether there was an association between any clinical symptoms present during life and the measurements found at necropsy. The most striking, perhaps the only thing shown in Table 1 , is the enormous variation in the length of the large and the small intestine in each of the age periods. The age periods are too few and the number of cases too small, especially after two years, to determine whether the body grows in length faster than does the intestine. The indications from the aver¬ age measurements, however, are that it does grow faster than either the large or small intestine at this early period of life. Tables 3 and 5 give the distribution of cases showing the relation of the body length to the length of the large and small intestine, irre¬ spective of age.