Although it was the workers from the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York who put the disease that we now call Crohn’s disease on the medical map, others had clearly recognised its occurrence as a distinct disease entity for at least a century before the most quoted paper of Crohn et al. (1932). Historical surveys have revealed descriptions of apparent cases of Crohn’s disease going back as far as Morgagni in 1769. In 1813 Coombe and Saunders reported the clinical history and autopsy finding in a young man who died of intestinal obstruction after many years of abdominal pain; the distal ileum was described as thickened and narrowed. In 1828 Abercrombie described a similar case and, according to Kirsner (1991), later in the same century, Moore in 1882 and Fenwick in 1889 produced further single case reports. Fenwick’s patient was a young female who had an intestinal fistula complicating a stenosis.


Inflammatory Bowel Disease Ulcerative Colitis Mount Sinai Hospital Continent Ileostomy Terminal Ileitis 
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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1993

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  • J. Alexander-Williams

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