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August 10, 1912


Author Affiliations

Assistant Professor of Physiology, University of California BERKELEY, CAL.

JAMA. 1912;LIX(6):423-424. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270080105005

In his workon edema, Martin H. Fischer1 has proved beyond a doubt what had also been found to be true by Loeb2 and by W. Ostwald,3 that fibrin and gelatin plates and the dead muscle of frogs absorb water to a greater degree in acid than in neutral solutions. From these experiments he goes on to argue most plausibly that edema in the living animal body is caused by an excessive accumulation of acid. He completely fails to prove that such is the case, and leaves unanswered the all-important question, Can acid accumulation account for the edema of living muscle?

It can easily be shown that acid content does not account for the swelling of muscle in Fischer's "artificial edemas." These edemas are produced by ligating the leg of a frog just above the knee, severing above the ligature and keeping the preparation in distilled water. It