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November 1916


Author Affiliations

From the Harriet Lane Home and the Department of Pediatrics of the Johns Hopkins University.

Am J Dis Child. 1916;XII(5):459-465. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1916.04110170037003

In the course of a number of diseases in infancy and childhood acetone bodies are excreted in the urine in sufficient quantity to be detected by qualitative tests. Acidosis may or may not be present; but in the overwhelming majority of cases with acetonuria acidosis is absent. This statement requires explanation because of the frequent confusion of the two terms, "acetonuria" and "acidosis," which are not synonymous. At one time it was justifiable to consider them so. That was shortly after Stadelmann, Minkowski, Külz and others had shown that the high ammonia coefficient of the urine, which Hallervorden had demonstrated with severe diabetes, was dependent on the presence of beta-oxybutyric acid and its closely associated compound aceto-acetic acid, from which acetone is derived.

As time has gone on, however, it has appeared, first, that a severe disturbance similar to that frequently produced by these acids may be brought about by

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