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May 6, 1961

Urea-Nitrogen Test

Author Affiliations

P.O. Box 216 Hanover, Ontario, Canada

JAMA. 1961;176(5):466. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040180068023

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To the Editor:—  This letter is with reference to the question in "Questions and Answers" in The Journal (175:341 [Jan. 28] 1961) about urea-nitrogen level.Doctor Horwitt, in comparing the NPN with the urea-nitrogen test, approved more of the latter because: (1) unlike the NPN, the urea-nitrogen is a single chemical component; (2) it covers a relatively wider range of variation in disease; and (3) it is simple to determine. To these could have been added a fourth advantage, transcending all in importance, namely, that it is a more sensitive test of renal function, as far as excretion of waste-nitrogen is concerned, than is the NPN. As is well known, at the normal or nearly normal levels, the ureanitrogen content of the blood accounts for, approximately, one-half of the total NPN; but what does not seem to be well-known is that, as the total NPN content of the blood

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