Most of the experimental work on the action of bismuth in the treatment of syphilis has been done by Sazerac and Levaditi,1 although the trypanocidal properties of bismuth were first discovered by Robert and Sauton.2 Balzer,3 in 1889, made experiments on dogs, in which he used ammoniacal bismuth citrate. This work was given up because one of the animals developed a severe keratitis, which was attributed at the time to the toxic action of bismuth, although possibly it was due to a concomitant infection, for no such lesions have been produced since bismuth has been used extensively in the treatment of syphilis.
With the internal administration of bismuth, toxic symptoms were practically unknown, but when bismuth treatment of wound was generally practiced, this state of affairs was changed. A number of intoxications have followed, especially under Beck's method of treating tuberculous fistulas. It has been found that
DE T. SHIVERS CH. THE CLINICAL VALUE OF BISMUTH IN THE TREATMENT OF SYPHILIS: THE REPORT OF SOME UNUSUAL REACTIONS FOLLOWING ITS ADMINISTRATION. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1924;10(4):414–423. doi:10.1001/archderm.1924.02360280008002
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