Volltext: Plethysmographic Experiments on the Vaso-Motor Nerves of the Limbs [From the Journal of Physiology, Vol. VII, Nos. 5 & 6, Offprint]

incision falls very near a well defined white line of the fascia, which is 
then to be cut through. This line marks the division of what Mivart1 
calls the two parts of the gluteus maximus. The posterior portion is 
lifted with a blunt hook, pushed back and held there, while another 
hook is put under the anterior portion and the gluteus médius, which 
lies below. These muscles being drawn forward, the nerve is brought 
into view, except in those cases where it is necessary to remove some 
adipose tissue for its exposure. The nerve may then be raised on a hook 
and divided, or a portion of it excised, as the experiment may require. 
In some cats the nerve appears to be exceedingly vascular, and the 
blood-vessels cannot always be readily isolated, so that occasionally 
considerable bleeding occurs, while in other cases the nerve may be cut 
without losing a drop of blood. Such bleeding will generally cease in a 
few minutes, and we never found it necessary to put a ligature on the 
vessels or to plug the wound. 
If the influence of nerve-degeneration on the vaso-motor phenomena 
was to be studied, the wound was now sewed up, the cat allowed to 
recover from the effects of the ether, and the rest of the experiment 
postponed for one or more days. If the phenomena were to be studied 
on a freshly divided nerve, the operation was continued as follows. The 
sciatic nerve was exposed in the middle of the thigh by an incision 
between the hamstring muscles and a pair of shielded electrodes placed 
upon it. The electrodes were secured to the skin by means of the 
sutures which closed the wound. The cat was then placed upon the 
back, a small glass cannula was tied into the central end of the divided 
external jugular vein, and a large metal cannula with a side-opening of 
variable size was secured in the lower end of the divided trachea. 
The cat was then connected with the various parts of the apparatus 
in the following manner. The cannula in the jugular vein was attached 
to a graduated burette (fig. 1 B) containing a | °/0 solution of curare, and 
while the animal was still under the influence of ether a dose of 
11—2 c.c. was allowed to enter the circulation. In the course of a 
prolonged experiment this dose was usually repeated at intervals of 
about one' hour, or whenever irritation of the sciatic nerve showed, by 
the production of muscular twitches, that the drug had been to a 
considerable extent eliminated. 
The tracheal cannula was connected with the apparatus (fig. 1, A) 
for supplying warmed and moistened air from the respiration apparatus 
already described. 
1 The Gat, p. 155.


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