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The accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity with or without dropsy was recognized by the earliest medical writers. Hippocrates was, from his many references to the subject, evidently familiar with dropsy and the accumulation of fluid into the serous sacs. Erasistratus's master, Chrysippus, must have been a contemporary of Hippocrates. According to Galen this famous physician, Erasistratus wrote a work on dropsy and taught that all varieties depended upon obstruction of the liver. Galen himself taught that diseases of other organs might also be responsible for dropsical effusions, and that they not infrequently had their origin in the morbid state of the blood. Asclepiades, who seems to have been a voluminous writer, according to what can be gathered of his views from Celsus and Galen, divided all dropsies into acute and chronic, not designating the particular viscera whose disease caused the dropsy. Probably Avicenna in his "Canon Medicinæ," is
McNUTT WF. THE RELATION OF ASCITES TO DISEASES OF THE KIDNEYS, AND PARACENTESIS ABDOMINALIS AS A REMEDY.. JAMA. 1896;XXVII(2):65–67. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430800007001b
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