Volltext: Elements of Physiology

subsequent part of this volume, under the head of the automatic 
Effects of division of the nervi vagi.—A consideration of all the 
different results obtained by the various observers, (Legallois, Du¬ 
puytren, Elainville, Dumas, Emmert, E. Pommer, Jlrnemann, 
Provençal and Mayer,) leads to the inference that death, after tying 
or dividing the nervus vagus, arises from the concurrence of different 
circumstances, which at last produce suffocation. They are the fol¬ 
lowing:—1. Incomplete paralysis of the muscles of the glottis. 2. 
Exudations in the lungs. 3. Change in the chemical process going 
on in the lungs. 4. Coagulation of the blood in the vessels, as ob¬ 
served by Mayer. 
It appears, adds Dr. Baly, from Dr. J. Reid’s observations, {toe. 
citât.) that section of the vagi nerves is not always fatal by pro¬ 
ducing morbid changes in the lungs; in two out of seventeen dogs 
experimented upon, the lungs were found perfectly healthy. One of 
these dogs died after the completion of the eighth day, apparently 
from inanition; the other was killed after the twelfth day, when ap¬ 
parently in perfect health. Dr. Reid shows that the effusion into 
the bronchi is not the cause of the laboured respiration in animals of 
which the vagi nerves have been divided, but its indirect effect. In 
several experiments it was absent, or existed only in a trifling de¬ 
gree. Congestion of the blood-vessels seemed to be the first stage 
of the morbid changes in the lungs. The diminished frequency of 
the respiration is regarded by Dr. Reid as the cause of this conges¬ 
tion. In opposition to the observations of Magendie, Wilson Philip, 
and Swan, Dr. Reid states that lesion of one pneumogastric nerve 
does not induce disease of the corresponding lung; in seventeen ani¬ 
mals, in which he had removed a portion of one vagus, and which 
were allowed to live from twenty-four hours to six months, he could 
detect no morbid change in the lungs, which he could attribute to 
the operation. This renders it very improbable that section of both 
vagi affects the lungs, by suspending some direct influence of those 
nerves upon them, and rather favours Dr. Reid’s opinion as to the 
mode in which the operation aftects those organs, since lesion of one 
vagus diminishes very slightly the frequency of the respirations.


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