Researches in the chemistry of the sputum have not kept pace with those made in the study of the excretions and secretions of other organs of the body, and what has been done has not been found of much value to clinicians, partly because of elaborate technic and partly because of uncertainty in results obtained.
For a critical review of the work published along this line the reader is referred to an article by Wanner,1 in which he reports a comprehensive study of the sputum from various pulmonary conditions, such as chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis, pulmonary tuberculosis, pulmonary infarct, gangrene and pneumonia, devoting special attention to the albumin and albumose content.
He regards any albumin reaction which is more than a slight opalescence as pathological, and if there is any albumin with the heat and acid test, then the sputum ceases to be a secretion. In other words, the underlying
GOODMAN EH. THE DIAGNOSTIC IMPORTANCE OF ALBUMIN AND ALBUMOSE IN THE SPUTUM AND THEIR RELATION TO OCCULT BLOOD. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1911;VIII(2):163-168. doi:10.1001/archinte.1911.00060080043005