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can count the number of apoplectic attacks, or calculate how often a young girl has menstruated. Every extravasation may leave behind its little contingent of haematoidine

[graphic]

crystals, and these, once formed, remain in the interior of the organ, in the shape of compact bodies endowed with the greatest powers of resistance.

With respect to the peculiarities of haematoidine, it has, in a theoretical point of view, another special claim to our interest, from its presenting to us a series of properties, which render it conspicuous as the only substance in the body, at least, that we are as yet acquainted with, which is' allied to the colouring matter of the bile (Cholepyrrhine). By the direct action of mineral acids, or after previous treatment and preparation by means of alkalies, the same, or precisely similar, colour-tests are obtained, which are yielded by the colouring matter of the bile when treated with mineral acids, and it seems also from other facts, that we have here a body before us, which is very intimately connected with the

Fig. 54. Pigment from an apoplectic cicatrix in the brain (' Archiv,' vol. i, pp. 401, 454, plate iii, fig. 7). a. Blood-corpuscles which have become granular and are in process of decolorization. b. Cells from the neuroglia, some of them provided with granular and crystalline pigment, c. Pigment-granules. d. Crystals of Haematoidine. f. Obliterated vessel with its former channel filled with granular and crystalline red pigment. 300 diameters.

ILEMTNE. 145

colouring matter of the bile. This circumstance derives its especial interest from its being supposed, for other reasons also, that the coloured constituents of the bile are products of the decomposition of the red colouring matter of the blood. In the interior of extravasations there really does arise a yellowish red substance wThich may be designated as a newly formed kind of biliary colouring matter.

The second kind of crystals which arise out of haematine was discovered later; they are very similar to the preceding ones, but differ from them in that they do not occur as a spontaneous product in the body,but must be artificiallyproduced.

Fio. 55.

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They are more of a dark brownish colour and usually form flat rhombic plates with more acute angles; they are in an extraordinary degree capable of resisting tests, and also do not, when acted upon by the mineral acids, exhibit the peculiar play of colours afforded by haematoidine. This second kind of crystals has received the name of Hcemine from their discoverer Teichmann. Quite recently Teichmann has himself begun to entertain doubts as to whether it is not really a sort of haematine. These forms do not present as yet the slightest pathological interest, but, on the other hand, they have proved of very great importance in forensic medicine on account of their having been recently employed as one of the surest tests for the examination of blood-stains. I myself have been in a position to make experiments of this sort in forensic cases. For this purpose the best mode

Fig. 55. Crystals of Hsemine, artificially procured from human blood. 300 diameters.

of proceeding is to mix dried blood in as compact a form as possible with dry, crystallized, powdered common salt, and then to add to this mixture glacial acetic acid, and evaporate at a boiling heat. When this has been done, crystals of haemine are found where the blood-corpuscles or the substance previously lay, in which the presence of haematine was doubtful. This is a reaction which must be ranked among the most certain and reliable ones with which we are acquainted. There is no other substance in which we know such a transformation to take place, but haematine. This test is extremely important, because it is applicable in the case of extremely minute quantities, only they must not be spread over too large a surface. It would therefore not be easy of application in a case where we had to deal with a cloth which had been dipped into a thin, watery, fluid coloured with blood. Yet I was able, in the case of a murdered man, on the sleeve of whose coat blood had spurted, and where some of the drops were only a line in diameter, from these minute specks to produce innumerable crystals of haemine, though of course microscopical ones. In cases in which the ordinary chemical tests would necessarily absolutely fail on account of the smallness of the quantity, we are still able to obtain haemine. When the mass of blood is so very small, the size of the crystals is certainly also extremely minute, and we then find, as in the case of haematoidine, small needles of an intensely brown colour and provided with acute angles.

The third substance which belongs to this series, is the so-called Ilamato-crystaUine, a substance about the discovery of which the learned still dispute, for the simple reason that it was found out piecemeal. The first observation concerning it was made by Reichert in extravasations in the uterus of the guinea-pig, in a preparation which, I think, had already lain for some little time inspirits This H^MATO-CfiYSTALLINE. 147

observation of his acquired especial significance because he shewed that these crystals in certain respects behaved like organic substances, inasmuch as they became larger through the action of certain agencies, and smaller through that of others, without any change of form, a phenomenon which, up to that time, had not been known to take place in crystals. Afterwards these crystals were again discovered by Kolliker, but Funke, Kunde, and especially Lehmann, have examined them more closely. The result has been that they are very different in different classes of animals, but hitherto it has not been possible to discover any definite reason for their existence, or to obtain any insight into the nature of the substance itself. In man the crystals are tolerably large. At first it was believed that they only occurred in the blood of certain organs, but it has since turned out that they occur everywhere, though they are obtained with greater readiness in certain morbid conditions. In a few very rare cases it happens that they are found already formed in the blood of the dead bodies of animals. These crystals are very easily destructible; both when they dry up and when they become moist, or are brought into contact with any fluid medium, they perish, and they are therefore only observed in certain transitional stages, which must be exactly hit upon, in the destruction of bloodcorpuscles. The well-developed forms in man are perfectly rectangular bodies; but very frequently they are extremely small, and nothing is seen but simple spicules which shoot up into the object at certain spots in large masses. There is besides this peculiarity about them, that they retain the property which haematine itself has of becoming bright red with oxygen and dark red with carbonic acid. It is still, however, a frequent subject of discussion whether their whole substance is composed of colouring matter, or whether in this case also the crystals are really colourless and merely impregnated with pigment; this much, however, may be regarded as certain, that the colour has something very characteristic about it, and that the existence of a close connection between it and the ordinary colouring matter of the blood cannot be doubted.

If we now revert to the natural morphological elements of the blood, we meet with the colourless corpuscles as its third constituent. They are present in comparatively small quantity in the blood of a healthy man. To three hundred red corpuscles we reckon about one colourless one. As they generally present themselves in the blood, they are spherical corpuscles, which are sometimes a little larger, sometimes a little smaller than, or of the same size as, ordinary red blood-corpuscles, from which they are however strikingly distinguished by the want of all colour and by their perfectly spherical form.

In a drop of blood which has become quiet, the red

corpuscles are usually found agn B gregated in rows, presenting the

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in the interspaces may be observed here and there one of these pale, spherical bodies, in which in the first instance, when the blood is quite fresh, nothing more can be distinguished than an occasionally slightly granular looking surface. If water be added, the colourless corpuscles are seen to swell up, and in proportion as they absorb the water, a membrane first becomes distinct; then granular contents gradually come

Fig. 56. Colourless blood-corpuscles from a vein of the pia-matcrof a lunatic. A. Examined when fresh; a in their natural fluid, b in water. B. After the addition of acetic acid: ae, cells with a single, granular nucleus, which becomes progressively larger, and is finally provided with a nucleolus. d. Simple division of the nuclei. e. A more advanced stage of the division, f— h. Gradual division of the nuclei into three parts. ik. Four and more nuclei. 280 diameters.

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