The question of the effect of in-vivo autolysis of tissues has been reopened by the recent reports of Mason, Davidson, Matthew and Rastello,1 Wangensteen and Waldron2 and Haden and Orr3 that the aseptic autolysis of small portions of liver in vivo is uniformly fatal in dogs. This conclusion was reached following the finding that the ligation of a lobe of the liver in the dog or the placing of a free portion of dog's liver, obtained with strict aseptic precautions, in the general abdominal cavity regularly caused death in from fifteen to sixty hours. In 1917, Dragstedt, Moorhead and Burcky4 reported that the in-vivo autolysis of short, isolated sections of intestine that had been sterilized by prolonged drainage into the peritoneal cavity did not produce any serious effect in dogs. When such segments were infected, however, death followed shortly after the occlusion of their blood supply.
ELLIS JC, DRAGSTEDT LR. LIVER AUTOLYSIS IN VIVO. Arch Surg. 1930;20(1):8–16. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1930.01150070011002
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