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January 26, 1918


Author Affiliations

Baltimore Professor of Clinical Pathology, University of Maryland School of Medicine and the College of Physicians and Surgeons

JAMA. 1918;70(4):224. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.26010040002007b

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In the course of certain investigations regarding the nature of the so-called Bence-Jones protein, I made the incidental observation that the urine from such a case gave a most intense ninhydrin reaction. The color was a rich Burgundy, however, and not the reddish violet that is noted in the Abderhalden pregnancy test. The urine in question had been preserved for a number of years with thymol, and the question naturally arose whether a fresh specimen of urine containing the Bence-Jones protein would give thesame reaction. Normal urines, it may be mentioned in passing, give rise to no color change. The opportunity for such an examination was offered soon after, and it was found that the fresh urine from the second case also turned a deep Burgundy on boiling with ninhydrin. In order to determine whether the reaction was due to the protein itself or to an associated substance or substances,

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