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December 1930


Author Affiliations

From the Institute of Neurology, Northwestern University Medical School.

Arch Surg. 1930;21(6):995-1014. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1930.01150180111007

The term contracture is used to designate prolonged or more or less permanent muscle shortening. The delayed relaxation seen in a nervemuscle preparation after a series of rapidly repeated contractions, the delayed relaxation caused by veratrine poisoning, the prolonged shortening caused by nicotine and acetylcholine in frog muscle and in denervated mammalian muscle and Tigel's contracture are chiefly of interest to the physiologist. With the exception of the first mentioned, which is generally regarded as a fatigue contracture due to the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscle, not much is known about the physicochemical factors involved in these phenomena. Nor are the structural factors any better understood. The relative parts played by the myofibrils and sarcoplasm are still matters of controversy. In a recent article, Gasser1 has presented a comprehensive review of the various types of contracture with which the physiologist is familiar and states that these are

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