Ulcerative colitis is, as the authors point out, a most imprecise disease. Its etiology is now known, and various methods of treatment are rather empirical. In addition, other inflammatory conditions of the large and small bowel must be excluded in order to make accurate diagnosis and evaluations of the results of medical and surgical treatment. The authors have made an exhaustive, clearly written, and reasonable attempt to clarify diagnosis and treatment. Their considerable experience in managing ulcerative colitis is presented in a particularly enlightening fashion. Analysis of the pertinent literature, as well as their own results, is objective and well conceived. Details of all aspects of ulcerative colitis are examined minutely and carefully, and conclusions are set forth clearly and statistically.
These conclusions are heavily in favor of operative intervention in all patients 60 years of age and older and those with total involvement of the large bowel. The