The development of knowledge and understanding of pulmonary embolism has pursued diverse paths of investigation. Many bits of information of conflicting and incomplete nature were discovered,. and hypotheses were formed. A few were retained, and many treatments were tried.
Historical and experimental evidence has been compiled in this book from writings on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, Central Europe, Scandinavia, Italy, and the Orient. Four hundred and eighty-four references have been reviewed and summarized in pithy sentences. The study of the site of origin and causes of emboli, the impact of emboli on the lungs, the infarction of the lung, and the fate of the embolus from the viewpoints of the anatomy, chemistry, physics, physiology, and pharmacology provides the basic factors for the subsequent analysis of clinical problems. A critique of treatment based on results published in the literature offers a rational program, that balances undue optimism with a