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March 18, 1916


JAMA. 1916;LXVI(12):896-898. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02580380046024

In the advance of scientific medicine, new and more exact methods of diagnosis are constantly appearing. It was a great step forward when knowledge of metabolism and diseases of metabolism reached such a level that definite diagnostic and prognostic data could be obtained by laboratory means. The utilization of these data in treatment is rapidly advancing also. Calorimetry likewise has made no small contribution to clinical progress. And yet, in spite of the increased knowledge of the total metabolism and its disorders, there remains the still more difficult problem of devising methods which shall give diagnostic and prognostic light on the various processes of intermediate metabolism, processes not only of synthesis but also especially under conditions of pathologic functioning, processes of catabolism or the breaking down of food and tissue elements.

The great difficulty has been to secure methods which would give a reliable index of what was actually transpiring