REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
The idea of employing elementary phosphorus in the treatment of rickets had its origin in the investigations of Wegner1 about 50 years ago. At that time, acute phosphorus poisoning was not infrequently seen by the pathologist, due to its use for suicidal purposes. As Wegner quaintly puts it: "A gulp of the morning coffee in which fluorescent, demoniacal match tips have been dissolved, taken in the dark, melancholy kitchen, affords a far easier death than a leap into the cold water." In the course of necropsies on such subjects, Wegner encountered an occasional instance of chronic phosphorus poisoning associated with hardening and enlargement of the bones, instead of the usual softening or necrosis. Observations of this kind induced him to undertake an experimental study of the effect of minute quantities of elementary phosphorus on the bones. In the course of these experiments he found that
HESS AF, WEINSTOCK M. THE VALUE OF ELEMENTARY PHOSPHORUS IN RICKETS: AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY. Am J Dis Child. 1926;32(4):483–496. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1926.04130100003001
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