During the war years, when apparatus for the determination of tubal patency were not being manufactured, it became imperative that a tubal patency test be devised which would be accurate, simple, safe and economical. Insufflation apparatus of simple construction were suggested in the literature. The Jarcho apparatus, utilizing air, was tried one time, in spite of the fact that its inherent dangers were known. A small air embolus, which produced shock, cyanosis, thready pulse and gasping respirations, developed, but the patient spontaneously recovered after a few minutes. This made the need for a safe tubal patency test even more pressing. Hysterosalpingography is not without dangers and is costly to the patient and inconvenient for both patient and doctor. Thus from necessity was the phenolsulfonphthalein test born.
Phenolsulfonphthalein was chosen because it was considered to be safe, as evidenced by the many years of clinical usage without any reported toxicity. It
SPECK G. PHENOLSULFONPHTHALEIN TEST FOR TUBAL PATENCY. JAMA. 1950;143(4):357–358. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.82910390001009