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Page 1: Reviews and Notices of Books



PLEGIA ; COMA; GLYCOSURIA ; DEATH.H. N--, aged thirty-eight, married, was admitted on

May 22nd, 1S80, at 11.30 P.m. He was very pale, his skinwas cold and moist, and his pulse was weak ; he was de-lirious, and complained of intense pain in his head. No traceof hemiplegia could be discovered, the patient walking intothe ward with the assistance of his friends. The pupilswere normal. He was put to bed, and an ice-bag wasapplied to his head. Shortly afterwards there was somevomiting.At half-past one the next morning he became very violent

.and noisy ; at five o’clock he was comatose, and at seven hewas dead. Some urine was drawn off by the catheter, andfound to contain sugar. It was ascertained from his friendsthat he appeared to be in perfect health up to the day ofhis admission ; that he had spent that day at some pleasure-gardens, and had had no alcohol beyond three glasses ofbeer ; that he was about to start for home when he suddenlycomplained of severe pain in his head, and shortly after-’wards became temporarily unconscious on his way to theinfirmarv.At the necropsy a dark clot was found, filling the lateral,

third, and fourth ventricles of the brain ; blood was effusedover the base of the brain, and had extended upwards overthe surface of the hemispheres, filling the sulci. The largeganglia and other important structures at the base of thebrain were uninjured. No ruptured vessel or aneurism wasdiscovered. The lungs were emphysematous. The heart,liver, spleen, kidneys, and other organs were healthy.There were no marks of external violence.

Reviews and Notices of Books.The Utricular Glands of the Uterus, &c. By Prof. ERCOLANI.

Translated under the direction of H. O. Marcy, A.M.,M.D. Triibner and Co.

THE work of Professor Ercolani has been long known in itsmain feature to those who have followed the researches whichhave been recently made into the structure of the placenta ;for although the title of the work would scarcely lead oneto expect it, yet the main object of the author is to prove aview which he has been led to adopt of the structure andfunction of the placenta, while the description of the utricu-lar glands of the uterus forms but a part, though a verynecessary part, of the evidence which the author producesin support of his theory. This theory is as follows :-" There is produced in the pregnant uterus of mammals, in-cluding the human species, a glandular organ of new forma-tion. This organ constitutes one of the two fundamental

portions of the placenta, that is to say, the maternal

portion, with which the fcetus is brought into intimate con-tact by the villi of the chorion, which composes the otherportion of it, or the foetal part. The villi of this latter

part of the placenta penetrate always and obviously intothe glandular organ or maternal part, in order to absorb thefluid which is there secreted, and thus to furnish the foetuswith the materials necessary for its nutrition."With a view to establish this theory the author gives an

account of " the utricular glands in mammalia, in the gravidand non-gravid animal," their development and function;he points out their increase of size in the gravid state,and adopts the opinion of Eschricht that these glands,together with the simple follicles, " elaborate, during gestil-tion, a fluid destined to furnish some elements for the nutri-tion of the fœtus, narticularlv when the organs which arE

charged with that office, or the villi of the chorion, are notfully developed." The human decidua, it is paid, "maybe considered as a product of exudation, due for the mostpart to the utricular glands, and the numerous openingswhich perforate it obliquely precisely indicate the mouths ofthese g’ands, which remain open in the decidua for the con-

tinual passage of the materials elaborated by the glands."In accordance with this view the author explains the forma-tion of the decidua reflexa. He states : "Now if, accordingto the preceding observations, the uterine or true decidua isonly a product of exudation, due in great measure to thesecretion of the uterine glands and to the transudation oforganisable fluids from the internal surface of the uterus, itbecomes easy to comprehend the formation of the reflecteddecidua. While the whole internal surface of the uterusis covered with the uterine decidua, the ovum when

reaching the uterus is also covered with a similar layer,formed by the same materials, which further serve to fix itat one point of the uterus. At this point the uterine andthe reflected deciduse are soon mingled together, precisely aswill take place later, when the ovum, increasing in size,forces the reflected decidua which surrounds it against theuterine decidua, so that the two deciduæ blend into one

single membrane." The serotina again is described as

follows :-" This membrane, produced by the proliferationof the cells of the superficial or submucous connective tissueof the uterus, is the stroma whence originates the glandularorgan which supports and envelops the villi of the fœtal

placenta in all their subdivisions." The author never tiresof emphasising his view that the maternal part of the

placenta is a new formation, owing " its origin in the humanspecies to the new formation of special cells, which in thehuman species has received the name of decidua serotina."It has nothing to do with the glandular structure of the un-impregnated uterus. Indeed, Ercolani maintains that a

" primordial destruction, more or less marked, of the uterinemucous membrane, is indispensable for the beginningand completion of the new formative process, from which,in all cases, results the development of the maternal portionof the placenta." Finally, it is held that the nutrition ofthe fcetus is not maintained by osmotic processes betweenthe blood of the mother and that of the fcetus, but by

. absorption by the epithelium of the chorion villi of a fluid

. secreted by the cells of the serotina, which cover the chorion

. villi. and this is the case. however intimate the union mavbe between the fcetal and maternal parts of the placenta. Itshould be stated, further, that the author accepts the viewthat the placenta contains large sinuses possessing thinwalls, and that these thin walls cover the foetal villi in alltheir parts, and are closely united to them ; that the bloodof the mother is passed into these sinuses in its course fromthe arteries to the veins.

It would be impossible to enter here into the details of thedescriptions of the placenta of various animals and of thehuman species found in this work. We can only notice someof the main conclusions arrived at by the author. Withreference to the manner of nutrition of the foetus by absorp-tion of secreted material rather than by osmosis, our

knowledge does not warrant any positive statement. The

question is an extremely difficult one. There is greatprobability that such is the mode before the formation of theplacenta ; but the evidence brought forward in the workbefore us fails to prove such to be the case after tLatoeriod.

I The term " mucous membrane" is used in a peculiarsense by the author, for he says, "In woman ... , the

simple epithelial layer, which by itself represents all themucous membranes of the uterus, ..." Now this useof the term is one not generally accepted, and is, moreover,one which gives to the views promulgated a much morestartling character than they really deserve, but fur positivestatements made by him (and quoted above) with regar ! the nature of the deciduæ and serotina. lu the destructive

process preceding the process of formation of the placenmturns out that in the human female it is only the epitheliumwhich is destroyed, and the real question at issue between him

Page 2: Reviews and Notices of Books


and other observers becomes one of interpretation. With re- difficult of explanation, especially as the " deep " reflexesgard to the nature of the decidua reflexa, it has been incon- (tendon-reflex) are increased in such conditions. Dr. Gowerstestably proved that it is an upgrowth of the decidua vera points out the probable explanation. In the frog the superfi-around the ovum at the point where the descent of the cial reflexes are controlled by a centre in the optic lobes ;ovum has been arrested. It has been observed in process in man by one in the corpora quadrigemina. Now it is mostof formation, and it presents a structure precisely similar to likely that this controlling centre in man is itself kept inthe vera, including the presence of utricular glands. The check by the higher motor centres. If their influence beserotina again, instead of being a new formation, has removed by a lesion in the hemisphere, the controllingbeen shown to be but the deeper layer of the decidua centre has full play and the reflex action is restrained. Onvera at the insertion of the placenta, while the vera the other hand, if there be a lesion in the cord itself thewhen examined soon after conception, presents all the reflex action is increased. Of course we have long beencharacters of the mucous membrane of the uterus. The familiar with the fact of the control exerted by cerebralchanges in these structures have been traced from month to centres over the spinal ; but the explanation of the differencemonth, both those in the cellular elements and in the glands. between cerebral and spinal lesions in their effect on theThe nature and formation of the peculiar cells of the spinal reflexes has not been so clearly stated. After this,deciduæ is a subject upon which we still require further Dr. Gowers treats at some length upon the subject of

knowledge, and is one upon which there is ground for tendon-reflexes"; although he points out that the termdifference of opinion ; but the evidence as to the develop- "tendon" is too limited, and prefers to style them " knee-ment of the decidua vera, decidua reflexa, and decidua reflex" and "ankle-reflex." This is a very interesting in-serotina from the mucosa uteri, remains untouched. The quiry, which has already borne good fruit in giving earlywork before us contains the results of great research both indications of the presence of spinal cord disease. Therein the study and in the dissecting-room. It gives a mass of seems no reason why other " deep reflexes " than thoseinformation with respect to the views which have been already discovered may not be added to the list ; but thosehitherto held with regard to the uterine glands and placenta. at present in common use are amply sufficient for practicalIt moreover brings prominently forward a subject which purposes. Inco-ordination is attributed to impairment ofdeserves more attention than it has hitherto received-that reflex action. Other points in spinal physiology are neces-is, the part played by the glands of the uterus during sarily dealt with, and in the next section the author proceedspregnancy, to deal with the Anatomical Diagnosis of lesions. He givesThe translation has been made by Messrs. Smead and an ingenious diagram and table showing the approximate

Jacobs, under the supervision of Dr. Marcy, and is on the relation to the spinal nerves of the various motor, sensory,whole well done. Some passages are, however, obscure in and reflex functions of the spinal cord ; and it is remarkabletheir meaning ; whether this be the fault of the translator with what accuracy it is now possible to determine the exactor of the author, we cannot say. The work is one not likely level of a lesion. Then comes a section on Pathologicalto have a large sale, and the publishers for this reason, Diagnosis, and the features pointing to the probable natureamongst others, deserve the highest praise for their enter- of the morbid change are passed in review. Lastly, someprising spirit, cases are given illustrative of the methods of diagnosis ex-

pounded in the book.The Diagnosis of Diserzses of the Spinal Cord. An Address Dr. Gowers has throughout the work aimed at simplifying

delivered to the Medical Society of Wolverhampton, the nomenclature of the spinal cord. Thus, in speaking ofOct. 9th, 1879. ByW. R. GOWERS, M.D., F.R.C.P. its anatomy, he, to our thinking, wisely discards the phrasesLondon : J. & A. Churchill. 1880. « columns of Goll, " " of Türck, " of Burdach, which onlyTHE remarkable advances made in the study of nervous land the reader in hopeless confusion ; and prefers to speak

disease and nerve-physiology is well illustrated in the history of these regions as the "postero-median column," directof our knowledge concerning the spinal cord. Itwouldhave "pyramidal tract," and "root-zone." He is not quite sobeen impossible ten years ago for so thorough a survey as happy in substituting the term "cornual myelitis" forthe present lecture to have been penned ; for there is hardly "anterior polio-myelitis;" for the latter, in spite of itsa page that does not contain some new fact, throwing light uncouthness, is etymologically more correct and free fromupon the function of the cord, and aiding in the exacter the charge of hybridity. Medical terminology is, however,diagnosis of its morbid condition. The glory of Duchenne was so full of hybrid phrases, that this slight criticism may beto have definitely separated locomotor ataxy from the hetero- thought too exacting.geneous group of the paraplegiae; but it has been left for his In conclusion, we are thankful to the Wolverhamptonposterity to further analyse this group, and complete the Medical Society, at whose invitation Dr. Gowers delivereddifferentiation which he set afoot. Nor must it be imagined this lecture, for it has resulted in the production of athat there are not obscurities still to be cleared up ; and handbook which is a credit to our literature.time may show that in some of their interpretations of phe-nomena the present generation have failed to grasp the whole Archives de Neurologie. No. I. Paris : 1880.

truth. They have, however, added so much to the store of IT is singular that France, which has produced so manyknowledge that, as compared with the preceding generation, writers in the field of neuro-pathology and physiology,we walk in the light, where they groped in darkness. should be almost the last country to have started a journal

Dr. Gowers, so far as the limits of his book allow, deals with specially devoted to this subject. The gap is now filled,the several points worth knowing in spinal diagnosis. After and the first number of a new quarterly journal devoted tosome remarks upon the medical anatomy of the spinal cord, these topics has just appeared, under the direction ofhe discuses its physiology in relation to the symptoms of M. Charcot. The editor is M. Bourneville, and the journalits diseases. It is here-and especially in the department is published at the office of the paper which that gentlemanof reflex actions-that most advances have been made. The also edits-Le Progres Medical. An introduction by M.integrity of the spinal cord can be fairly well deduced from Charcot explains the reasons for its publication, and indi-the perfection with which the reflex actions are carried on- cates the field proposed to be traversed in its pages. Whilstunder due allowance for age and idiosyncrasy. The interest- admitting the danger of the present age to multiply speciali-ing fact that the superficial reflexes are lessened or abolished ties, he points out that the wide relations of the nervouson the paralysed side in cerebral hemiplegia is at first sight system to all parts of the organism render the institution of

Page 3: Reviews and Notices of Books


a journal specially devoted to its ’consideration far lesslimited in scope than appears at first sight. The Archiveswill deal principally with nosography and records of clinicalobservation, but will also embrace normal and pathologicalanatomy and physiology, experimental and therapeuticalresearches. This first number contains articles bearingupon almost every one of these departments. Thus,under the head of anatomy we have a short paperby Debove and Gombault upon the decussation of sensoryfibres in the medulla. The point was settled by theexamination of the medulla in a case of lateral amyo-trophic sclerosis ; and they clearly show that afterdecussation the sensory filaments mingle intimately with themotor fibres of the pyramids. A short note by M. Debove onthe preparation of the spinal cord for microscopical examina-tion follows. He keeps the cord for three weeks or longerin a 4 per cent. solution of bichromate of ammonia, then forthree days in a carbolised gum solution, then for three daysin alcohol. The sections made and the gum washed out,they are left for twenty-four hours in a saturated solution ofpicric acid, after which they may be readily stained withcarmine. This process has yielded him better results thanany other. Under the heading of Experimental Pathologi-cal Anatomy there is the first instalment of an investigationby M. Gombauit upon the nerve-changes in subacute andparenchymatous neuritis. He has studied these lesions in

guinea-pigs slowly poisoned by lead, and describes and

figures degeneration and disappearance of the myelin limitedto different segments of the nerve fibre in this condition ;and he further illustrates the lesion by changes similarly ob-served in muscular atrophy and traumatic neuritis in man.Under Pathology there is an article by M. Debove andM. Boadet de Paris upon the Motor Inco-ordination of

Ataxics, where they attempt to prove, chiefly by means ofthe use of the "myophone," that inco-ordination is due tounequal tonicity of the muscles, and that its effects are

diminished by their maximum contraction. Under MentalMedicine there is a lengthy and learned article by M. Mag-nan demonstrating the frequent co-existence of different kindsof delirium in the same insane subject; and the first part ofan interesting contribution to the clinical and pathologicalstudy of Idiocy by M. Bourneville. The section of Thera-

peutics is represented by the record of two cases of herni-plegia, in which motor power and sensibility were restoredby the use of magnets. This, again, is by M. Debove. Areview of present knowledge upon Cephalic Thermometryby M. Boyer follows ; and the closing pages of the journalare devoted to abstracts of recent published work in variousdepartments and to a few reviews of books. Altogether thenumber is full of interesting and readable matter, and if thejournal fulfil the promise of its first issue in subsequentnumbers, it will, no doubt, be widely read. The secondissue is to appear on October 1st, and, like our own publica-tion in the same field, Brain, it is to be published quarterly.


COWL.THE accompanying engravings represent one of various

types of the improved ventilator invented by Alfred Hall,M.D., F.R.C.P. London. Its main feature consists inan aggregation of four, six, or any other binary numberof tubes or oritices surmounting the soil-pipe or other con-duit from which foul air or fetid smells are emitted, and aglance at our illustrations shows that the object aimed at isattained without the use of any mechanical contrivance, orof any very intricate construction like those that form per-fect labyrinths in tome other ventilating arrangements.

Fig. 1 is a front view of the ventilator, representing thetwo orifices, B’ B", that adjoin one another; Fig. 2 is alongitudinal section, and Fig. 3 a horizontal section takenthrough the line &agr;-&bgr;, Figs. 1 and 2. A is the soil-pipe or

other conduit to be ventilated or disinfected ; it is in the

present instance surmounted by a system of six orifices, B B,closed up at the top by the helmet, c, and half trumpet-shaped at the bottom, as shown in section at b, Fig. 2. Thecurrent of air passes through the orifices B B, B’ B’, B" B",opposite one another, and a continuous exhaustion of thefoul air or noxious vapours is secured by this means.We have remarked that our illustrations represent but

one out of a number of types of the same ventilator, whichmay equally well be used as a chimney-cowl. Another typeis that of an ascending soil-pipe closed up at the top andsurmounted simply by a cross of four short horizontal tubes,through which the suction of the fetid air takes place. This

ventilator may be made of tinned iron or zinc plate, as wellas of copper or terra-cotta. There being no mechanical con-trivance or appliance of any kind connected with it, it is notlikely to evt-r get out of order ; and, if made of copper, it is

practically indestructible.

Analytical Records.DUROLEUM (HARD OIL).


TASTELESS, odourless, and unalterable preparations madefrom petroleum are rapidly superseding lard in pharmacy.Messrs. Ferris’s new ointment-hasis is excellent, and, thoughsimilar to several already in use, is firmer, which in hotweather, and especially in hot countries, is an advantage.We have received more than a dozen different samples ofointment made with duroleum, all excellent in quality, andcertain to keep. The price is exactly the same as for

ordinary P. B. ointment.


In this preparation of cocoa a portion of the fat has beenremoved and a portion of legumin added. Thus a highlynitrogenous food is obtained, rich in actual proteic or flesh-forming material. Chocolate prepared from this powder isexcellent in flavour, and free from the somewhat unpleasanttaste often observed in leguminous preparations. We thinkit a useful addition to the resources of the physician. Theaddition of sugar will, of course, reduce, in most cases ad.vantageously, the proportion of proteids in the food.