THE LANCET

1886 The Lancet  
EVOLUTION IN PATHOLOGY. THE subject taken by Mr. BLAND SUTTON in his recent lectures at the College of Surgeons was well chosen and ably treated. That pathological'processes play a part in the differentiation of species, and that such processes are themselves subject to the laws of evolution which dominate all creation, are ideas which require for their full treatment a wide and extensive knowledge of animal life in its aberrant forms and in its morbid states. Mr. SUTTON'S contributions to
more » ... ntributions to morphology and comparative pathology have already proved his capacity for dealing with the more extensive subject which formed the theme of his lectures, and he has succeeded in throwing a new light upon some of the most intricate problems of pathology. In his first lecture he endeavoured to show that " correlation," or the processes of hypertrophy and atrophy, which are often intimately connected, can account for the production of racial and sexual distinctions. We do not believe that any pathologist will take exception to his definition of hypertrophy. It is true that the phrase, like that of " tumour," has come to be used very loosely, but we imagine that the laxity of language must be ascribed rather to the clinician than to the pathologist. Nevertheless, it was well to remind us that " overgrowth " and hypertrophy" are not synonymous terms-that the excessive growth of a toe-nail or of the incisor tooth of a rodent is not comparable with the hypertrophy of a fibula in consequence of its being called to take the place of a tibia disabled by a united fracture. The demonstration that the ischial callosities of the cynomorphous monkeys are allied in nature and origin to the acquired epidermic hypertrophies known as "corns" was complete, and justified the assertion that a pathological production can be transmitted hereditarily and may assume the importance of a racial peculiarity. Correlation, however, implies the predominance of one part or organ ;-in excess side by side with a dwindling even to entire disappearance of an originally associated organ-as illustrated in the hypertrophy of one kidney with concomitant atrophy of its fellow, and in the normal development of the tibia, which outstrips the fibula owing to the greater bloodsupply it receives from being called on to perform the more important function. The application of these principles to the differentiation of the sexual organs formed one of the most interesting and original portions of this lecture. Hermaphroditism, which is the prevailing condition in the
doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(00)59116-8 fatcat:wksfc6ylgnahjmiz5gty3cgssm