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December 15, 1917


Author Affiliations

Attending Dermatologist, Cook County Hospital; Consulting Dermatologist, Chicago Lying-In Hospital CHICAGO

JAMA. 1917;LXIX(24):2014-2016. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.02590510006004

Since the adoption of the complicated complement fixation test for syphilis, repeated attempts have been made to simplify it or to substitute for it a simple chemical test. Most of these substitute tests have been precipitation tests, and so far all have failed to attain any practical degree of diagnostic accuracy. Bruck,1 the collaborator of Wassermann on the complement fixation test, has recently brought out another, for which he claims specificity. Since the war began he has continued his research under the restricted facilities of a field hospital, and found that the nitric acid precipitate in syphilitic serum dissolved more slowly on neutralization with alkalis, than the precipitate in normal serum. He then sought the quantity of distilled water necessary to dissolve the normal precipitate without dissolving that in syphilitic serum. The test thus evolved has given good results in his hands, and he suggests that it be tried

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