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July 6, 1918


JAMA. 1918;71(1):41-42. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600270043012

Intoxications produced by compounds of mercury either are acute in character with a rapid sequence of symptoms that are frequently, if not usually, fatal; or the outcome may be exhibited in considerably delayed manifestations of severe disease. The kidneys have usually received most attention in mercury poisoning because at some stage of the intoxication they are likely to show signs of abnormality in performance. Recently reported studies by MacNider7 of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill throw new light on the acute pathologic condition induced by mercuric chlorid. A number of the animals that died from the intoxication within forty-eight hours after receiving the poison showed a clinical condition comparable with the state of shock and collapse that is observed in man from the use of a concentrated corrosive poison. Although all the subjects receiving mercury developed a gastro-enteritis, this varied widely in severity and duration, depending