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October 20, 1945


JAMA. 1945;129(8):553. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860420021011

In 1943 a series of studies were reported on the irritant properties of surgical tubing fluids as a factor in tissue irritations.1 These demonstrated that marketed specimens of nonboilable surgical gut contained up to 14 per cent by volume of high boiling aromatic carbons in the tubing fluids. These hydrocarbons were related to a coal tar distillate known as "xylene fraction," or solvent naphtha. The investigations also demonstrated that tubing fluids are potent tissue irritants. In the final paper Jenkins and Dunham showed that a sufficient amount of irritant water insoluble hydrocarbon was present in some tubing fluid to account for much of the tissue irritation that follows the use of catgut which had previously been attributed to properties of the catgut itself. The Chicago investigators therefore recommended the elimination of tubing fluid irritants from surgical gut.

Now Bower2 reports a series of studies with rabbits and dogs