SINCE Saxl and Heilig1 introduced the organic mercurial diuretics into the treatment of cardiac edema, many studies have been reported concerning their mechanism of action. The renal action of these diuretics has been proved by experiments on the isolated heart-lung-kidney preparation (Gremels2) and by observations on transplanted kidneys (Govaerts3). Investigations using the creatinine clearance method on dogs (Schmitz4) and on men (Herrmann and his colleague5) showed that the administration of these diuretics effected a diminished tubular reabsorption.
Evidence for an extrarenal action of the organic mercurial diuretics has also been brought forward, but is less convincing. The method usually employed when this problem of renal as against extrarenal action of mercurial diuretics is investigated is to examine the fluctuations in hemoglobin content or hematocrit values, total plasma protein and plasma volume during diuresis. It is reasoned that a primary extrarenal action of these drugs, effecting