Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

The Cyclopaedia of Anatomy and Physiology, vol. 3: Ins-Pla
Todd, Robert Bentley
The vesicular polypi, or, as they have been 
called, hydatid polypi, are composed of masses 
of large, pellucid vesicles, filled by a trans¬ 
parent and slightly viscid fluid, or consist of a 
substance somewhat like the vitreous humour. 
They can be broken by a very slight force, and 
after they have discharged their fluid nothing 
remains but shreds of fine membrane, like 
films of washed fibrine. They cçmmonly grow 
from 'the upper and side walls of the nasal 
fossæ, and their growth is very rapid. They 
frequently also burst spontaneously, discharge 
their contents, and are reproduced ; and their 
reproduction is almost always very rapid when 
they are artificially destroyed, and the patient 
is not in other respects effectually treated. The 
thin membrane investing them is easily per¬ 
meable, and their size varies according to the 
rapidity with which evaporation can take place 
from them, so that they may serve as a sort of 
hygrometer, indicating by their size the relative 
quantity of moisture in the atmosphere. Their 
nature is as yet unknown ; they are probably 
entirely new productions, and not, as some 
think, distended mucous follicles. 
Gelatinous polypi are more common than 
those of any other kind, and are those which 
are commonly called mucous polypi, though, 
under this term, Boyer and some others in¬ 
clude both these and the preceding variety. 
They are much firmer than the vesicular polypi, 
and grow in one or more distinct and circum¬ 
scribed masses. They are of a dull white or 
yellowish colour, soft and easily torn, com¬ 
posed of a fine tissue with fluid infiltrated in 
it, like anasarcous cellular membrane. Gene¬ 
rally they appear to have a few opaque white 
filaments running through their substance, and 
their surface and interior are traversed by long 
meandering bloodvessels. When small, they 
are nearly round and elongated; but as they 
increase they adapt themselves, as the other 
kinds also do, to the form of the nasal cavities, 
spreading towards their apertures, but rarely 
having sufficient force of growth to expand the 
firmer parts of the nose. They almost always 
grow nearer the anterior than the posterior 
nares, from about the middle of the outer wall 
of the nose, or from the middle turbinated 
bone, to which they are fixed by a narrow base 
more or less deeply rooted in the tissue of the 
Schneiderian membrane, and sometimes tightly 
adherent to the bone. It is only very rarely 
that this or either of the other innocent forms 
of polypus grows from the septum; but Mr. 
Hawkins has seen one example. Sometimes 
one only grows at a time, but more often there 
are several crammed together. They are co¬ 
vered by a fine membrane, like a thin con¬ 
tinuation of the mucous membrane of the nose, 
like which, also, it is said to be covered by 
ciliary epithelium and appears to produce 
mucus. A polypus of this kind, which I re¬ 
cently examined, was composed throughout of 
a tough interlacement of fine, crooked, pale 
filaments like those composing a fibrinous coat 
of blood, in which there were thickly em¬ 
bedded a vast number of flat, circular, granu¬ 
lated cells, or cells with granulated nuclei. 
Each cell was about ^th of an inch in di-l 
ameter, and in each, three or four of the gra-1 
nules appeared much darker than the rest. The. 
whole presented on dissection a tough fibrous J 
grain, and appeared to the naked eye much* 
more highly organized than the microscope F 
proved it tobe. From its minute structure,|| 
which resembled in its general characters If 
that of many other kinds of tumours, it is 
evident that these polypi, as well as the last, j 
are not mere changes or out-growths of the ’ 
mucous membrane, but are altogether new pro- V 
ductions and belong to the class of tumours g 
rather than to that of degenerated tissues. 
Fibrous, sarcomatous, or fleshy polypi are 
masses of firm, well organized, and vascular 
tissue, growing like the others from a com¬ 
paratively small base. Their substance is of a 
pale reddish or brownish colour, and they are 
invested by a thin smooth membrane. In dif¬ 
ferent examples their degrees of firmness differ, 
so that, on the one hand, it is not easy to draw 
a line between this and the preceding variety, 
and, on the other, some specimens of this are 
found nearly as hard as the denser fibrous F 
tissues. The base, or pedicle, of these growths 
is usually firmer and more fibrous than the rest ;/ 
of their substance, and parts of them are com¬ 
posed sometimes of tissues like cartilage or 
bone. Like the preceding they grow from the I 
outer wall of the fossæ, but from the posterior, 
more often than from the anterior, part. Some¬ 
times one only is produced, sometimes several ; 
and their force and rapidity of growth are suf¬ 
ficient to stretch, if unchecked, all the parts - 
around them, to expand and destroy the bones, I 
and protrude through the skin of the face, 
where ulcerating they may present nearly all 
the characters of malignant diseases. And 
this resemblance to malignant growths becomes 
the greater from the polypus itself softening 
and growing more vascular on its surface or j 
even throughout its substance. 
The apparent transition from the preceding 
to this variety of polypus makes it probable 
that these also are new formations ; and though 
they are sometimes firm and apparently fibrous 
even when they are very small, yet perhaps 
they are often produced by the further deve- 
lopement of the gelatinous variety. Mr. Haw¬ 
kins says that, in general, when the polypus 
grows from the surface only of the mucous , 
membrane it is soft and gelatinous ; but if the 
whole thickness of the membrane, including 
also the periosteum, be its seat, or if it grow 
from a part where there is much fibrous tissue, ; 
as for example, near the posterior nares, it is ! 
fibrous; and this, no doubt, is generally true;|l 
yet the frequency with which portions of the,» 
turbinated bones are pulled away in extractingjl 
gelatinous polypi proves that these also have I 
often deep attachments. 
What are called malignant polypi of the 
nose do not truly deserve the generic name. 
They are cancerous diseases of the mucous 
membrane or of the parts situated on its ex¬ 
terior, from which they gradually make their 
way into the nasal cavities. In general cha¬ 
racters they do not differ from the similar dis-


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