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June 11, 1938


JAMA. 1938;110(24):2010. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790240034012

In his Harvey lecture, last year, C. K. Drinker1 of the Harvard School of Public Health reviewed our knowledge of the functional significance of the lymphatic system. Of all mammals man can probably claim the most extensive and elaborate lymphatic apparatus. One of the principal functions of this system is defense against inflammatory processes, but this is not the whole story. The study of lymphatic function under normal conditions has already yielded information of additional import. The lymphatics are a simple subsidiary circulatory mechanism and are steadily engaged in moving fluid which leaves the blood capillaries and returns again to the blood. In a series of experiments begun in 1930 in Professor Krogh's laboratory, lymph was collected from different regions in the dog. The most dependable figure on the amounts of lymph collectable per minute (exclusive of the thoracic duct and abdominal vessels) were obtained by cannulating the lymph