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June 14, 1930


JAMA. 1930;94(24):1921-1922. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02710500039015

The presence of mercury in the body invariably presents a problem to the physician regardless of whether the element has been introduced into the organism for therapeutic purposes or occurs as a consequence of poisoning. It is a potent agent that may play havoc with the cells and tissues of the host as well as exert destructive influence on undesirable microbiotic invaders. Like some other metals, mercury is a cumulative poison; it is readily deposited in the bones and the liver. When it is mobilized for transport it may injure various organs, notably the kidneys and the liver. Consequently the clinician becomes concerned with the rate of migration of mercury, the quantity that is circulating freely at any time, and the rate at which it may be passing through the susceptible organs of excretion. Until comparatively recently the best guide to treatment in the case of actual intoxication with mercury

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