In presenting my paper on the surgical treatment of acute peritonitis I have not thought it necessary to review my experimental work, or to report all my cases operated upon. Neither is it possible in a short paper to enter into a discussion of the anatomy, etiology, pathology and the various clinical phases found in this formidable disease, because inflammation of this membrane may have so many different causes and assume such varied clinical aspects that it is difficult to formulate a uniform and satisfactory classification. Suffice it to say that, anatomically and physiologically considered, the peritoneal cavity may be said to be a large lymph-sac, and noted for its capacity of absorption. This capacity is not surprising when we take into consideration that in its parietal and visceral enfoldings, it presents nearly as large a surface as the entire integumentary covering of the body.
Idiopathic peritonitis is considered doubtful by most modern pathologists, and it has become an established practice to search for a local cause in all cases of peritonitis. I believe in every instance, micro-organisms from some source or other have gained access to the