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May 20, 1939

Current Comment

JAMA. 1939;112(20):2069. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800200067018

A SKIN TEST FOR TOLERANCE TO ALCOHOL  About a year has passed since Nagle1 proposed an endermic test for tolerance to alcohol. This test, developed in the state psychiatric clinic at Agnew, Calif., consists of an intracutaneous injection of 0.03 cc. of 60 per cent ethyl alcohol (U. S. P.) in the deltoid region with a control injection of the same volume of physiologic solution of sodium chloride in the opposite arm. A wheal about 9 mm. in diameter almost immediately forms, is common in all instances, and has no diagnostic significance. Surrounding the wheal a zone of erythema soon develops, varying in size and intensity in different persons. The maximum reaction is reached by the end of thirty minutes. In about 20 per cent of the 250 patients thus far tested by Nagle the surrounding erythema was of maximum intensity and about 3 inches (38 cm.) in diameter.