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July 19, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(3):141. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480290025005

Any of the serous cavities of the body may occasionally be the seat of a milky effusion, although the abdomen is so most commonly. A distinction must be made between such milky effusions as actually contain chyle and those that, presenting a similar macroscopic appearance, are found to contain the products of fatty degeneration of varied origin. The one condition is due to escape of chyle from its proper channels, the other to the formation of fat from degeneration of epithelial cells, leucocytes, carcinomatous and tuberculous nodules. The fluid in the former consists of a fine emulsion containing few cellular elements, while the fluid in the latter is characterized by the presence of a large number of cells in all stages of degeneration and also fat-drops. Truly chylous effusions accumulate and reaccumulate rapidly, while those that are only fatty or chyliform collect more slowly in accordance with the course of