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Article
February 1928

CHEMICAL CHANGES IN THE BLOOD IN MERCURIC CHLORIDE POISONINGMECHANISM AND SIGNIFICANCE OF HYPOCHLOREMIA

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1928;41(2):234-243. doi:10.1001/archinte.1928.00130140096006
Abstract

A marked reduction of the blood chlorides may occur in any patient suffering from mercury poisoning. In his fatal cases of poisoning with mercuric chloride, Heim1 observed a lower concentration of blood chlorides than in any other condition, the lowest figure being 210 mg. sodium chloride per hundred cubic centimeters of blood. In his discussion of theories to explain the condition, he concluded that the hypochloremia could not be explained by a loss of chlorides from the intestinal tract either by vomiting or by diarrhea. As an alternate possibility, he offered the view that a specific poisoning of vascular membranes or a physiochemical change in the blood permits a loss of sodium chloride directly into the tissues.

Data in proof of either theory have not been offered, and we feel that a metabolic change of such fundamental importance merits experimental investigation. With this point in view, we have studied the

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