[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
December 2, 1899


JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(23):1431-1432. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.02450750051014

It is sometimes a matter of extreme difficulty to demonstrate the presence of arsenic under various conditions when such knowledge may be highly desirable. A method proposed by Scholtz,1 and successfully practised at the Royal Dermatological Clinic at Breslau, will therefore be warmly welcomed and receive serious consideration. Having failed, by Marsh's test, to find arsenic in the cutaneous scales from two patients suffering from psoriasis, and treated with this drug, this observer availed himself of the aid of a mold, the Penicillium brevicaule, which has the property, in growth on nutrient media containing arsenic, of setting free volatile arsenic acid, and this may be recognized by the intense odor of garlic. By this means, and using proper control measures, he succeeded in demonstrating the presence of the metal in even minute amounts in the scales in the two cases of psoriasis treated with arsenic. Arsenic was found also