PSOROSPERMIASIS, the medical term for a disease caused by the animal parasites known as psorosperms or gregarinidae, found in the liver, kidneys and ureters.
The action of colchicum or colchicine upon the kidneys has been minutely studied, and it is asserted on the one hand that the urinary solids are much diminished and, on the other hand, that they are markedly increased, the specific gravity of the secretion being much raised.
It must not be used to check haemorrhage from the kidneys (haematuria) owing to its irritant action on those organs, but in haemoptysis (haemorrhage from the lungs) it is often an invaluable remedy.
But it seems now probable that all glands which have what may be termed an external secretion like the pancreas, stomach, intestine, skin and kidneys have also an internal secretion, so that while they are pouring out one secretion from the ducts into the intestine or external air, they are also pouring into the lymphatics, and thus into the blood, an internal secretion.
The discovery by Richard Bright (1789-1858) of the disease of the kidneys known by his name proved to be one of the most momentous of the century.
The kidneys or nephridia open internally by wide funnel-shaped nephridiostomes and externally by small pores on each side of the mouth near the base of the arms. Each is short, gently curved and devoid of convolutions.
Strychnine is eliminated by the kidneys as strychnine and strychnic acid.
The kidneys are enlarged and congested.
During excretion they irritate the kidneys and the sweat-glands, and thereby increase the excretion of urine and of sweat.
It is probable that the kidneys also have an internal secretion, and that the great oedema sometimes found in kidney disease is rather due to the action of some proteid body resembling in its effects the streptococcus anti-toxin, than to accumulation of water due to imperfect action of the kidney.