Some difference of opinion prevails as to whether the curious disorder attended with the discharge from the bowel of masses or shreds or bands or tubes of mucus is really a single affection or represents two distinct diseases, both etiologically and clinically. Some writers speak of mucous colic and of membranous enteritis, the former being looked upon as an intestinal neurosis, characterized by severe paroxysms of abdominal pain, associated with the discharge of membrane from the bowel and unattended with anatomic alteration; while membranous enteritis is attended with slight pain and exhibits the anatomic features of chronic catarrh of the intestine. In both the formation of membrane must be attributed to a secretory neurosis, in the one idiopathic—that is, without obvious cause—and in the other secondary to the intestinal condition. Some observers contend for the existence also of a sensory neurosis.
An interesting group of cases illustrating the various phases