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The new method of diagnosis of the above affections, employed by me since March, 1906, consists in filling the fistula or abscess cavity with a bismuth-vaselin paste and then taking a radiograph of the region affected. Bismuth, as is well known, offers great resistance to the penetration of the x-rays and, therefore, is a suitable material for this class of radiographic work. The shadow obtained by its use represents the true picture of the shape and ramifications of these cavities within the tissues. In some instances the most surprising and unexpected findings are detected in this way. This method of diagnosis is superior to the methods now in vogue, such as the probe, the injection of colored fluids or peroxid of hydrogen.
These radiographs have shown why some patients have not been cured even after several operations. They demonstrated the uselessness of an operation which does not remove every
BECK EG. FISTULOUS TRACTS, TUBERCULOUS SINUSES AND ABSCESS CAVITIES.A NEW METHOD OF DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT BY BISMUTH PASTE.. JAMA. 1908;L(11):868–872. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25310370034002i
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