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June 5, 1926


JAMA. 1926;86(23):1770-1771. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02670490032015

The kidneys are charged with the function of eliminating certain types of waste products, notably the end-products of protein metabolism, from the body. It may be assumed, therefore, that these organs possess a large factor of safety in respect to their capacity to excrete continually varying quantities of nitrogenous and inorganic compounds in solutions exhibiting a wide range of difference in reaction. The organism in health depends on the kidneys for the removal of excess of fixed acids or bases as a part of its essential acid-base equilibrium. It would be unlike any other fundamental physiologic function if the mechanism to accomplish this were not adapted to liberal variations in the tasks that may be committed to it. On the other hand, one may readily understand that disorganization or destruction of any organ thus important would lead to serious consequences, particularly when the functions involved cannot well be vicariously assumed