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Cope's Early Diagnosis of the Acute Abdomen

Lloyd M. Nyhus, MD
JAMA. 1996;276(14):1196. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540140084039.
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This is the 19th edition of this well-known text, which was first published in 1921 by Zachary Cope. The emphasis upon the clinical (nonlaboratory) approach to the correct early diagnosis of this common affliction has been maintained during the past five revisions by William Silen of Boston.

In the current era of technological advances, there is a tendency to shun details of the history and physical examination prior to obtaining and attempting to interpret one or more of these new and expensive visualizations of body regions. While recognizing the value of fine-tuning the diagnosis with these newer techniques, Silen has maintained the major thrust or core of his presentation as the tried and true nuances of the history and physical examination outlined so succinctly by Zachary Cope. To assure that his readers are cognizant of the plethora of tests currently available to the clinician, Silen includes a chapter outlining them


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