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Article
January 1921

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE ACIDOSIS OF METHYL ALCOHOL POISONING

Author Affiliations

RICHMOND, VA.

From the laboratory of pharmacology, Medical College of Virginia.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1921;27(1):71-82. doi:10.1001/archinte.1921.00100070074005
Abstract

The increase in the number of cases of poisoning by methyl alcohol that has occurred recently renders particularly interesting the report of the favorable results obtained by Harrop and Benedict1 in the treatment of a case of such poisoning with sodium bicarbonate. The rationale of this treatment depends on the fact first demonstrated by Król2 that there is an abnormal excretion of acid bodies in the urine following the ingestion of methyl alcohol. Since Pohl3 had previously shown that methyl alcohol is slowly and incompletely oxidized in the body, a considerable proportion of that administered being excreted in the shape of formic acid, it was believed that this formic acid was responsible for the "acidosis." Król, however, found that the formic acid accounted for only a small part of the ammonia of the urine, indicating that other organic acids were excreted in abnormal amounts. Tyson and Schoenberg4 also found that

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