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Article
July 1936

CUTANEOUS HYPERALGESIA OF THE ABDOMEN: AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY

Author Affiliations

INDIANAPOLIS

Arch Surg. 1936;33(1):108-112. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1936.01190010111007
Abstract

Cutaneous hyperalgesia has achieved a position of some interest in the diagnosis of those acute diseases of the abdomen for which surgical intervention is indicated. However, the mechanistic causation of this somatic manifestation remains somewhat obscure and speculative and therefore appears to be worthy of further experimental study.

Subsequent to the publication of Ross'1 memorable work on referred pain in visceral diseases, Mackenzie,2' in 1893, noted areas of cutaneous hyperalgesia in association with such diseases. The increase in sensitivity in these regions was explained by postulation of a viscerosensory reflex, whereby bombardment by afferent splanchnic stimuli from an inflamed viscus produced an irritable focus in the gray matter of the spinal cord, with a resulting increase in the excitability of the sensory nerves of the abdominal wall which enter the affected segment. The observations of Sir Henry Head3 on the segmental innervation of the skin, in connection

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