Greatly retarded growth, amounting to a condition of infantilism, is occasionally seen as a result of certain prolonged derangements of the functions of digestion, as well as a consequence of organic changes in these organs. The exact nature of the changes which bring about arrested growth in the first mentioned group of cases is as yet little understood, but it has generally been connected with disturbances in the metabolism of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Negative balances in these substances have repeatedly been found in children belonging to this class.
Because of the demonstrated effect of cod liver oil in increasing the retention of these inorganic salts in other conditions, particularly in rickets, it was determined to try its effect on the patient whose history is here reported, in whom the diagnosis of infantilism of intestinal origin was tentatively made.
REPORT OF CASE
History.—Elizabeth R., aged 8½ years, came first