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REMARKS INTRODUCTORY TO A DISCUSSION ON ACUTE DIFFUSE PERITONITIS,Given before the New York State Medical Association, Oct. 28, 1891.

JAMA. 1892;XVIII(1):1-6. doi:10.1001/jama.1892.02411050007001.
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Question 1. What does the normal histology of the peritoneum teach us of its physiological purpose? The first question in our programme might have been not inaptly preceded by the inquiry, what is a "serous membrane?" and simple as the query sounds, there would be diversity of opinion in the answers to it; for neither in embryological origin, in apparent physiological use, nor in reaction to morbid processes, is there correspondence between all the textures which are grouped under this generic title. The epiblastic ocular chambers and aural labyrinths still hold their places in our text books, notwithstanding that the normal purpose of their contained fluids is rather to maintain separation of surfaces than to relieve friction. So, too, the single-layered, non-vascular arachnoid bears a very doubtful relationship to the thoracic and abdominal membranes in either its histology or its normal or morbid behavior. And when we find an instructor


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