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August 1, 1914


JAMA. 1914;LXIII(5):404-405. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02570050040015

A group of derivatives of blood and bile pigments, containing the pyrrol nucleus, has become familiar in medical literature under the name "urobilin." That these substances have proved unsatisfactory as an aid in diagnosis and prognosis is no more than has been found true of many other supposedly characteristic functional tests in the disorders of individual organs. Many of the facts elicited by the study of abnormal conditions in the body are of decided value in diagnosis; the limitations are found when attempts are made to render certain reactions specifically and unreservedly applicable to some special pathologic situation. Even the variations in the secretion of a substance so specific as the hydrochloric acid of the gastric juice cannot always be charged to local organic or functional defects of the stomach mucosa; for not a few failures of proper secretory performance on the part of the gastric mechanism are caused by

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