The opportunity of observing a patient with an ileostomy led to the following studies on the consistency, color, water and nitrogen content and time of appearance of the material from the small intestine. The reaction of the ileal contents, degree of absorption of the various products of digestion and the exchange of minerals at this level are questions which have been inadequately studied. Reports of work on patients and animals with fistulas, at various points or with varying lengths of the colon excised, have been published from time to time.
The best of the early work is probably that of Heile,1 who used dogs with ileocecal fistulas. He found that absorption of nitrogen was nearly complete, i. e., 98 per cent on a moderate intake of meat and 88 per cent with great overfeeding. The absorption of carbohydrates fed in the form of rice and sugar was also complete,