THE PROBLEM of who was the first to describe congenital pyloric stenosis is an exercise in diagnosis, as well as in historical research, which crops up from time to time. It has not hitherto been settled, and Major's "Classic Descriptions of Disease"1 contains no note on pyloric stenosis. The publication of Prof. Arvid Wallgren's Abraham Flexner lectures2 provides an opportunity for sorting the tares from the wheat. Wallgren states that the muscular hypertrophy of the pyloric sphincter remains for many years after the symptoms have disappeared, operation or no, and this may have a bearing on one of the earliest recorded cases. Wallgren also states that the first recorded description was by Hirschsprung (in 1888). This, however, cannot be accepted. It is proposed here to give extracts from several early descriptions which have from time to time been championed by eminent authorities.
Kellett3 quotes Hildanus'