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June 1929


Author Affiliations

From the Section on Roentgenology, The Mayo Clinic.

Arch Surg. 1929;18(6):2246-2256. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1929.01140150010002

Prior to 1924, the roentgenologic diagnosis of disease of the gallbladder, in spite of the achievements of a few roentgenologists, was not generally efficient or held in high regard. In that year, Graham and Cole1 announced their discovery of calcium tetrabromphenolphthalein as a cholecystographic agent. During the four years that have elapsed since then, cholecystography has become indispensable for routine examination, and a voluminous literature testifies to the vivid interest aroused by the new method. Cholecystography has been one of the most remarkable advances in medicine, and, although Abel and Rowntree2 had previously shown that phenoltetrachlorphthalein was eliminated chiefly in the bile, it was Graham who first applied this principle to visualization of the gallbladder with the roentgen ray.

As the calcium salt proved to be somewhat toxic, Graham soon abandoned it for the sodium salt of tetrabromphenolphthalein. Then Whitaker and Milliken,3 early in 1925, advocated the

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