The authors state that their principal aim is to emphasize physiologic considerations of the gastrointestinal tract most relevant to medical practice. They contend that only a minority of medical students are primarily interested in science as such. The text is divided into four main sections: circulation, motor mechanisms, secretory, and absorptive functions.
The intricate flow of arterial supply and venous drainage of the splanchnic vascular bed is diagrammed and discussed in detail, drawing freely from the works of Elias, Grayson, Mendel, and others. The author's own perfusion-gradient studies and splanchnic hemodynamic investigations are presented in some detail. The chapter on blood volume and mesenteric and hepatic circulation includes data on neural and chemical control of the splanchnic circulation. The effects of the vagus nerve, alpha- and beta-receptors, antidiuretic hormone (vasopressin), angiotensin II, plasma kinins, and other metabolic products are discussed. Information on the circulatory abnormalities related to disorders, such as