Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Plethysmographic Experiments on the Vaso-Motor Nerves of the Limbs [From the Journal of Physiology, Vol. VII, Nos. 5 & 6, Offprint]
Bowditch, H. P. J. W. Warren
horizontal line below the curve correspond to minutes.) Slighter and 
less frequent changes in the size of the leg were not at all unusual, and 
were at times quite inconvenient, as they interfered with the interpre¬ 
tation of the experiments. These changes consisted generally in a 
rather rapid dilatation followed by a slow return to the normal size, 
though at times a contraction seemed to be the primary phenomenon. 
An example of the automatic changes such as were most frequently met 
with is given in fig. 5. In fig. 6 are shown similar curves obtained 
simultaneously from both legs, the left sciatic nerve having been 
Fig. 5. 
Reduced one Half from the original. 
divided three days and the right about two hours before the tracings 
were made. It will be noticed that the curves are, in a general way, 
parallel to each other, showing that the causes of the variations are 
not local. Whether they are due to changes in the action of the heart 
or to alterations in the capacity of a collateral vascular area, e.g. the 
viscera, is a question which cannot be decided by any data furnished by 
our investigations. 
The individual differences between cats in respect to the character 
and energy of these vaso-motor phenomena will be still more strikingly 
shown in the discussion of the results of electric stimulation of the 
sciatic nerve. In this connection it is of interest to note that 
Kowalewsky1 found that, in these animals, the division of the lateral 
columns of the cord or of the cervical sympathetic did not always 
produce uniform results. 
1 GentraUilatt für die Med. Wiss. 1885, a. 307.


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