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August 25, 1917


JAMA. 1917;LXIX(8):646-648. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.02590350048015

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Those who have become acquainted with the word "acidosis" since its introduction into scientific medical literature can scarcely help experiencing some confusion of ideas when they attempt to interpret the meaning of this now widely current term. Naunyn first employed the word to denote that perversion of metabolism in which betahydroxybutyric acid is formed. Subsequently "acidosis" was the name given to other conditions in which acids of any type tend to upset the acid-base equilibrium of the body. The production of betahydroxybutyric acid is an incident in the disordered metabolic changes that lead to an output of ketone substances by the organism. This abnormality is now known to have a significance of its own, namely, in the indication that fatty acids derived either from fats or from amino-acids are being incompletely oxidized; and since this may exist without any conspicuous acid intoxication, it seems advisable to reserve a specific designation

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