Kottmann1 first described his test for thyroid activity in 1920. He had previously studied the serum in pregnancy, and from this work assumed that certain physicochemical differences must be present in the serums of patients suffering from thyroid dysfunction. Petersen, who first investigated the test in this country, thus describes the process:
Because of the peculiar relation of iodin to the glandular metabolism, he (Kottmann) began his experiments with colloidal iodin preparations, using silver iodid for this purpose because of its well known photosensitivity. In the test as developed by him, certain phenomena commonly observed in photography play a rôle. Thus, when silver nitrate is added to potassium iodid, silver iodid is formed. In the presence of a protective colloid, the growth of the particles is retarded, depending on the protective property of the colloid used. In the photographic plate, a gelatin preparation is used for this purpose, and
LYTTLE JD, SUTTON LP. PRELIMINARY REPORT ON THE KOTTMANN REACTION IN CHILDREN: WITH A NOTE ON THE TREATMENT OF CHOREA WITH THYROID. Am J Dis Child. 1923;26(2):179–185. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archpedi.1923.04120140078007
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