This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1885. Excerpt: ... ELASTIC FIBERS IN PHTHISIS. The principal structures found in the sputum of tuberculosis are elastic fibers. Observers somewhat trained will find the places in the expectoration, where they occur, with the naked eye; they are darker points, which may be seized with the pincette and placed under the microscope. They.are easily recognized by their double outlines and nooseshaped arrangement. Chemically they show great resistance to caustic alkalies. It is not easy for the beginner to distinguish admixtures of the sputum, such as cotton fibers, from the elastic fibers; margaric-acid needles, when they have double contour and occur in curved shape, may also cause mistakes. The latter, however, dissolve on slight heating. As a rule, elastic fibers should only be diagnosticated when several adhere together. At times we find larger pieces of the lung tissue, comprising several alveoli (lung-shreds). (See Plate 80.) ELASTIC FIBERS IN SPUTUM. L THE TUBERCLE-BACILLUS. The demonstration of tubercle-bacilli by Koch in the sputum of phthisical persons is one of the most important diagnostic discoveries of the present age. The bacillus of tuberculosis exists not alone in general tuberculosis, but also in cases where the disease remains localized for a long while, and finally disappears. We have learned thereby that such light and benign cases, which formerly we tried to separate from genuine tuberculosis, really belong to this disease; that by the discovery of the bacilli we are enabled to make a diagnosis of tubercular disease in the lungs in those light cases also where formerly it was impossible. That such favorably resulting tubercular diseases are very numerous can be established at the post-mortem table, where one half of the robust individuals who had died from ...
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