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March 28, 1925


JAMA. 1925;84(13):935-939. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02660390003002

Phenoltetrachlorphthalein was studied in 1909 as a subcutaneous purgative.1 In doses of 5 mg. per kilogram of body weight, it was found to be chiefly excreted in the bile, and partly reabsorbed in the colon. When given intravenously in larger doses, it appears in all the body secretions. The fact that when injected intravenously in doses of 5 mg. per kilogram of body weight it was excreted chiefly in the bile led Rowntree, Hurwitz and Bloomfield 2 to use as an index of liver function the determination of the quantity recoverable in the feces in the first forty-eight hours after injection. This quantitative determination was so laborious and time consuming that it was not practical as a clinical test.

This objection was overcome by McNeil,3 who attempted to determine quantitatively the dye in the duodenal contents, and later modified by Aaron, Beck and Schneider,4 who determined the