Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

DEVELOPMENT OF ANIMAL HEAT. 
89 
opposed to those obtained by Dr. Nasse, who found no difference, as 
regards their capacity for caloric, between the different secretions 
and water; while Dr. Davy also detected scarcely any difference in 
this respect between the blood and water. ' M. Pouillet* has directed 
attention to another source of heat in the vital processes. All solid 
bodies, inorganic as well as organic, undergo an elevation of tem¬ 
perature when moistened with different fluids. This elevation of 
temperature is much greater in organic substances; in several cases 
M. Pouillet found that it amounted to from 11° to 18° of Fahrenheit. 
The solution of the food by the fluids of the stomach might be taken 
as an example, and perhaps the slight increase of heat which attends 
digestion might be thus explained. But a more considerable and 
more general source of animal heat is undoubtedly to be found in the 
organic processes, in which by the operation of the organising forces 
on the organic matter heat is generated, not in one, but in every 
organ of the body: hence it is, that in cases of long fasting, in which 
the separation of the old, but not the organisation of new matter 
continues, the temperature of the body, according to Martine, falls 
considerably, even to the extent of several degrees, although at the 
same time the source of caloric in the, formation of carbonic acid 
remains. A case of stricture, or closure of the oesophagus, related 
by Dr. Currie, seems however to contradict this. In inflammation, 
the flow of blood to the part is increased, and the temperature is at 
the same time elevated; but Dr. J. Thomsont thinks that it never 
rises higher than the temperature of the blood in the great vessels. 
In scrofulous tumours in a state of active inflammation, MM. Bec¬ 
querel and Breschet found the temperature raised as much as 5^° F. 
Muscular contraction, also, they state, is attended with an elevation 
of temperature in the part to the extent of lf° or 3f° Fahr. It was 
also observed by the same writers that a feverish state of the body 
caused its temperature to rise to 5i° F.; while, as is well known, the 
depression of vital energy in nervous affections, and in rigors, causes 
the temperature of the body to fail, although respiration is unaffected. 
Dr. Currief found the temperature in the palm of the hand during 
syncope to be as low as 63° F. 
3. Influence of the nerves in the generation of heat.—Now, 
since all organic processes are chiefly dependent on the influence 
exerted by the nerves on the organic matter of the body, it cannot 
appear wonderful if the reciprocal action between the organs and 
the nerves is a main source of animal heat. The experiments of 
Brodie, Chaussait, and others, have proved this. Elliot and Home 
have observed that, after division of the nerves of a limb, its tem¬ 
perature falls, and this result is confirmed by the observation of all 
experimenters as to the effect of division of the nervus vagus. The 
diminution of temperature is detectible by a thermometer; the mere 
sensation of cold after injury to the nerves of a limb must not be 
* Ann. Chem. Phys. 20, 141.—Meckel, Archiv, viii. 233. 
t Lectures on Inflammation. Edinb. 1813, p. 46. 
t Currie, Wirkungen, des Calten, und Warmen Wassers. Leipsic, Bd. i. 267. 
Currie on Cold Affusion. 
8*
        

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