Gastro-Intestinal Symptoms of Lesions in the Genito-Urinary Tract


An old teacher of mine once said, “You cannot diagnose anything that you don’t think of.” The purpose of this paper is to direct attention to certain genito-urinary lesions which may give rise to pronounced gastro-intestinal symptoms and to encourage more consideration of the urinary tract in the differential diagnosis of what appear to be acute conditions of the abdomen.

Many patients with relatively acute gastro-intestinal symptoms do not require immediate surgical treatment and a good many others who have gastro-intestinal symptoms do not have clear-cut intraperitoneal disease, and it is this group particularly that deserves further investigation.

Dr. C. L. Hartsock of the Clinic, in a recent review of patients presenting themselves with gastro-intestinal symptoms, found that in only 35 to 50 per cent could the cause be actually demonstrated in the gastrointestinal tract, and in 20 per cent of the patients one might expect to find outside the gastro-intestinal tract the lesions producing the symptoms. From the urologist’s point of view, it is interesting to note that approximately 30 per cent of patients with lesions of the kidneys and ureters may be expected to have associated gastro-intestinal symptoms and, in our experience, from 17 to 20 per cent have had abdominal operations previously without relief of symptoms. This shows the importance of a careful preoperative diagnosis, not only in preventing unnecessary surgical procedures but in securing good results from the operative procedures which are carried out.

The most common gastro-intestinal symptom associated with lesions of the genito-urinary tract. . .



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