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October 4, 1913


Author Affiliations

Adjunct Attending Physician, Lebanon Hospital NEW YORK

JAMA. 1913;61(14):1295-1296. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04350150051017

Notwithstanding its comparatively long employment in gastro-intestinal diagnosis, the utilization of carmin for this purpose appears to be but little known and understood by the profession in general.

The employment of carmin in gastro-intestinal diagnosis is not new. As far back as 1874, Grűtzner1 devised his colorimetric method for pepsin determination by carmin-stained fibrin, a method which has now merely a historical interest. For use in diagnosis, carmin may be taken in capsules, dry on the tongue, or mixed with water or food. when pure, it is absolutely harmless in moderate amounts. I have repeatedly administered as much as half a teaspoonful to patients and noted no bad effects. Schmidt2 mentions that it may prove slightly irritating to the bowels, but this has not been my experience. Taken by mouth, the drug stains the feces, with which it becomes intimately mixed, a brick-red. The intensity and extent of

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