The complex relationship and function of the blood stamps it as a tissue unique in the animal economy. As the common carrier of the body, it is compelled to transport every molecule which passes to and from the tissues, into and out of the organism. It is thus subjected to widely varying influences of both a physiologic and pathologic character to an extent equaled by no other tissue in the body. It is able to maintain the integrity of its function and a distinct autonomy by what may not inaptly be termed its own inherent elasticity of structure. Its cellular elements may be reduced in number under pathologic conditions to 25 per cent, or less of its physiologic standard, and yet perfect recovery be possible. Their most important chemical constituent—hemoglobin—may be reduced in each individual cell to a similar degree, with the same possibilities of restoration to a condition of
McCASKEY GW. ANEMIAS SECONDARY TO GASTRO-INTESTINAL DISEASE, WITH REPORT OF TWO CASES. JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(13):812–814. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.62480130010001b
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