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September 9, 1961

Lymphatics and Lymph Circulation: Physiology and Pathology

JAMA. 1961;177(10):731. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040360067029

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The practical importance of the lymphatic circulation need not be mentioned to any physician who has seen cases of lymphedema, lymphangitis, elephantiasis, and so on. The theoretical importance and the baffling difficulty of the subject is suggested on page 41 with reference to the work of Florence Sabin. Her investigations, beginning in 1902, "released the long debate of American anatomists about the evolution of lymphatics, a debate which gave rise to nearly a hundred publications without leading the problem essentially nearer to solution and without... inducing any of the opposing parties to revise their attitude." Sabin believed that the human lymphatic vessels arise from the veins, grow centrifugally, and ramify gradually until they reach the periphery. The present authors (page 47) favor the opposite view, represented in 1906 by Huntington and MacClure, that lymphatic passages develop at the periphery by the fusion of mesenchymal slits, grow centripetally, and establish their

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