It has been known for a long time that mercury may be recovered from the stomach washings of patients who are under the systemic influence of this metal. The presence of mercury in the gastric contents does not depend on the method by which the drug is administered. So far as we have been able to determine, no attempt has been made to ascertain the mechanism whereby the mercury finds its way into the stomach contents. There are at least three obvious explanations. In the first place, the mercury excreted by the salivary glands may be swallowed with the saliva, or it may be that the mercury is excreted in the upper part of the duodenum and regurgitated into the stomach. In either case, the presence of the metal in the gastric contents may be regarded as a contamination. Finally, it is possible that the mercury is actually excreted by
LIEB CC, GOODWIN GM. THE EXCRETION OF MERCURY BY THE GASTRIC MUCOUS MEMBRANE. JAMA. 1915;LXIV(25):2041. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02570510017004
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