The treatment of cutaneous ulcers by sulphydryl compounds is a clinical application of the investigations of Hammett1 and of Hammett and Reimann,2 who found, in a long series of experiments on plants, lower animals and man, that there is a positive correlation between the sulphydryl (SH—) group and cellular activity. Reimann3 reported favorably on the treatment of obstinate cutaneous ulcers by means of thiocresol, which contains sulphydryl attached to the benzene nucleus. Dressings were saturated with a solution of thiocresol, diluted 1: 10,000, and applied to the wounds for periods of a few days, alternating with bland treatment for a similar period. There were distinct spurts of healing during the time the thiocresol was applied, as shown by epithelial growth and a change in the character and amount of granulation tissue.
Following the separation of glutathione in crystalline form, Kendall4 suggested to us the use, in
BRUNSTING LA, SIMONSEN DG. CUTANEOUS ULCERS TREATED BY THE SULPHYDRYL CONTAINING AMINO-ACID CYSTEINE. JAMA. 1933;101(25):1937–1940. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740500017005
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