Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

The Cyclopaedia of Anatomy and Physiology, vol. 4: Pla [corr.: Ple] - Wri
Todd, Robert Bentley
fæces, to be readily soluble in sulphuric and 
hydrochloric acids without effervescence. 
Crystals discoverable during life in connec¬ 
tion with acknowledged states of disease may 
be provisionally arranged as follows : — 
Crystals forming in 
(a), Natural secretions 
and excretions al¬ 
tered in properties 
(£), Products of in¬ 
flammation ........... 
(c) , Specific fluids of 
(d) , Adventitious For¬ 
Fæces, &c. 
Plastic 1 exuciat;ons 
Serous j 
Gangrenous products, 
Catarrhal discharges. 
Acephalocysts, &c. 
Of the natural secretions which (in conse¬ 
quence of alteration in their composition) are 
liable to contain saline matters in the form of 
minute crystals, the urine is by far the most 
important. With the strictly crystalline variety 
may be associated certain amorphous pulveru¬ 
lent precipitates. These products occur in 
the urine in the form of pellicle, cloud, or sedi¬ 
ment ; in other words, they form a thin stra¬ 
tum on the surface of the fluid, float between 
the upper and lower surfaces, or gravitateFo 
the bottom of the containing vessel. These 
varying positions, appreciable to the naked 
eye, aid the observer in forming a rough esti¬ 
mate of the nature of the saline matter, and 
may be almost conclusive on the point. The 
microscopical and chemical characters com¬ 
bined supply, however, the real evidence from 
which their composition is ascertained* ; in 
order to avoid repetition, we will defer the 
consideration of these characters until engaged 
with the subject of urinary calculi. We shall 
have occasion to recur, in describing the mor¬ 
bid substances (b, c, d), referred to in the 
above classification, to the appearance of 
crystals within them. But it may be stated 
here, as a general fact, that as the materials of 
all such crystals exist primarily in solution, 
and as absorption, evaporation, or chemical 
appropriation of water leads to their deposi¬ 
tion in the crystalline form, there is a source 
of fallacy in the examination of preparations 
kept in spirits ; certain salts, combined with 
the aqueous part of the material examined, 
are deprived of their water by the alcohol, 
and separate in crystalline forms. 
$ 2. Masses. — Adventitious products be¬ 
longing to the present sub-class, and possess¬ 
ing sufficient bulk to be called masses, form 
* As the majority of the substances included 
under the present head enter (though comparatively 
in small quantity) into the composition of healthy 
urine, it is necessary to observe that they, practi¬ 
cally speaking, acquire the character of adventitious 
products through the new form they assume, when 
the proportion in which they accumulate increases. 
an important group, divisible into two series 
differing from each other in a variety of im¬ 
portant natural characters. Some of them are, 
in truth, composed wholly or essentially of 
saline or other non-plastic materials, precipi¬ 
tated from the fluids of the system ; others of 
similar materials, deposited in an adventitious 
basis, itself stromal or non-stromal. In the 
first series, the non-plastic compounds form 
the essential, if not the whole, “ materies 
morbi;” in the second, these compounds are 
merely superadded to pre-existing matter (com¬ 
monly morbid) of another kind ; and such 
superaddition, instead of increasing the ac¬ 
tivity of functional disturbance in the system, 
tends frequently to weaken the destructive 
influence of that pre-existing matter. For the 
sake of convenience, bodies belonging to the 
first series may be termed true calculi, or sim¬ 
ply calculi; to the second, pseudo-calculi, or 
(A) Calculi. — True calculi, answering to 
the definition just laid down, may be deposited 
from almost all the secreted fluids. But of 
these fluids, the urine is, perhaps, the only one 
of which the saline and other actual constitu¬ 
ents, independently of any materials naturally 
foreign to their composition, form the sub¬ 
stance of calculi ; when calculous formations 
occur in other secretions, foreign ingredients 
may almost invariably be detected. The saline 
substance thus met with in calculous masses, 
and which does not enter naturally into the 
composition of the secretion, (or enters in 
excessively small proportion,) is most com¬ 
monly the phosphate of lime. So frequent is 
the occurrence of this salt in calculous masses 
on mucous surfaces, as to lead irresistibly to 
the conclusion that mucous membrane has a 
specific tendency to secrete this salt, under 
certain conditions of local irritation. 
(a) Urinary calculi. — Various constituents 
of the urine are capable of accumulating indi¬ 
vidually, or in association with each other and 
with certain animal substances, (mucus, fibrin, 
albumen, fatty matters, colouring matters, &c.,) 
so as to form masses of variable form and size ; 
these masses are according to their bulk 
termed calculi, miliary calculi, and gravel. The 
same materials unaggregated into masses form 
the substance of sediments, clouds, and pellicles. 
The following are the substances which to 
various amounts have been recognized as the 
constituents of urinary calculi : uric acid, 
urates of ammonia, of soda, of magnesia and 
of lime, oxalate and benzoate or hippurate of 
ammonia*, oxalate of lime, xanthin or uric 
oxide, cystin, phosphate (neutral and basic) of 
lime, triple phosphate of ammonia and mag¬ 
nesia, carbonate of lime, carbonate of magnesia, 
silica, peroxide of iron, fat, extractive matter, 
colouring matters, fibrin, albumen, and mucus. 
The coalescence of the component parts of 
urinary calculi is effected in three chief ways. 
* Simon remarks that the presence of the ben¬ 
zoate, as recorded by Brugnatelli, and of the oxa¬ 
late, as described by Devergie, is scarcely compatible 
with the great solubility of those salts.


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