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Brinton's disease

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An endoscopic image of linitis plastica. Hypertrophy and carcinomatous changes of the mucous and submucous tissues of the stomach with thickening and hardening of the gastric wall, resulting in thickening and fibrosis so that the organ is constricted, inelastic, and rigid, leading to a leather bottle-like appearance. It is almost always a manifestation of gastric adenocarcinoma but is occasionally seen in certain benign conditions. This cancer is more common in Asian countries, particularly Japan.

There is evidence of familial clustering of carcinoma of the stomach. Napoleon Bonaparte and many members of his family died from this type of cancer: Napoleon, his father, his grandfather, brother, and three sisters. However, only 4 per cent of patients have a family history of the disease.

We thank Joseph Constantin, France, for information submitted.


  • W. Brinton:
    Cirrhotic inflammation of plastic linitis of the stomach-suppuratibe linitis-tumours-hypertrophy-atrophy-dilatation from obstruction, destruction, injury, paralysis-secondary inflammation.
    In his: The diseases of the stomach, with an introduction on its anatomy and physiology. London, Churchill, 1859, pp. 310-331.

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