Interest in leeches has been revived by the reports of excellent results obtained from their use in the treatment of phlebitis by Termier,1 Sulger and Bozsin,2 Mahorner and Ochsner3 and others. Attention given to the active substance, hirudin, secreted by these annelids is opportune, since the reports on the results of this method of treating phlebitis continue to confirm its value and injections of hirudin offer a possible substitute for the application of leeches, which evoke a feeling of revulsion in the patient.
In a previous paper we discussed the action of hirudin and called attention to the report by Bosc and Delezenne4 on experiments undertaken to determine whether hirudin exerted any bactericidal effect on micro-organisms. They found that hirudinized blood produced precipitation of Bacillus coli in vitro more effectively than the same amount of blood not hirudinized. In vivo experiments were undertaken by the same
OCHSNER A, MAHORNER HR. BACTERICIDAL EFFECT OF HIRUDIN AND HEPARIN: I. INTRAVENOUS INJECTION OF HIRUDIN AND OF HEPARIN AND LEECHING IN EXPERIMENTAL BACTEREMIA. Arch Surg. 1935;31(2):308–314. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1935.01180140136011
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