The use by Abderhalden of "ninhydrin" (triketohydrindenhydrate) as an indicator in his test for pregnancy, and especially his experimental work with Lampe,1 in which ninhydrin was used to demonstrate amino-acids and related bodies in the serum, suggested the possible application of the test to the serum of persons suffering from nephritis, the intoxications of pregnancy and other conditions characterized by so-called nitrogen retention. Although our knowledge of the minute amounts of amino-acids in the serum and Abderhalden's statement that ninhydrin fails to react with an amino-acid (Glycocoll) when the dilution is greater than 1: 11,000 presaged failure, it was deemed advisable to give the test a trial, especially as the labor of the procedure could be greatly lessened by using serum filtrates prepared in connection with other work2 going on in the laboratory at the same time. Serums were obtained chiefly from nephritics and pregnant women—a total of
PEARCE RM. NEGATIVE RESULTS WITH THE NINHYDRIN REACTION AS A TEST FOR AMINOACIDS IN THE SERUM OF NEPHRITICS AND OTHERS. JAMA. 1913;61(16):1456–1457. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04350170038012
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