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July 1944


Author Affiliations

From the Surgical Service of the New York Medical College, the Flower and Fifth Avenue Hospital and the Metropolitan Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1944;49(1):39-43. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1944.01230020042005

Peritoneal tap affords important and useful data in the management of peritonitis. It was first performed and described by Solomon in 1906. There have been relatively few references to the procedure in the literature since that time. Contributions were made by Panichi in 1912; by Denzer in 19221; by Neuhof and Cohen in 19262; by Cole in 1937, and by Steinberg in a comprehensive paper in 1939.3 Few of the standard textbooks even mention the procedure. Our interest in peritoneal tap was stimulated when we began an exhaustive study of perforation of peptic ulcers in an effort to reach an early definitive diagnosis by administering methylthionine chloride (methylene blue) by mouth and recovering the dye by peritoneal puncture. In a review of 89 cases of perforated peptic ulcer in the eleven years from 1930 to 1941. at the Metropolitan Hospital, McCabe and Mersheimer4 discussed in detail