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November 9, 1907


JAMA. 1907;XLIX(19):1611. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.02530190045011

The clinical significance of traces of blood in the feces, demonstrable only by chemical tests, has been emphasized by numerous investigators since attention was called to this subject by Boas in 1903. In the diagnosis of malignant disease of the gastrointestinal tract, which practically always presents evidence of occult bleeding, and of peptic ulcers which periodically give this sign, it is found to be of the greatest assistance. The experience of Goodman1 tends to confirm the conclusion drawn from other recent researches as to the relative value of the different chemical tests. The benzidin test, while far the most delicate, reacts to a number of other substances, such as oxidizing ferments, iron salts, pus, saliva, bowel detritus, mucus, potassium iodid, animal charcoal, and copper. A negative test, however, is positive proof of the absence of blood. A positive benzidin test may be checked by aloin or guaiac, which are

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