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THE ABSORPTION OF PHENOLSULPHONEPHTHALEIN FROM THE SUBARACHNOID SPACE IN DISEASES OF THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM

HENRY G. MEHRTENS, M.D.; HOWARD F. WEST, M.D.
Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1917;XX(4):575-585. doi:10.1001/archinte.1917.00090040097004.
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Since 1842 various observers, beginning with Magendie, have demonstrated that pigments injected into the subarachnoid space eventually appear in the urine. Dandy and Blackfan1 were the first to apply this knowledge to the study of pathologic conditions. They showed that phenolsulphonephthalein injected into the subarachnoid space is harmless and appears in the urine in normal infants in from four to ten minutes. Their studies were confined to hydrocephalus in infants and to certain animal experiments. As a result of these observations they were led to conclude that there is an active circulation of the spinal fluid; that it is constantly absorbed; and that absorption takes place directly into the vascular supply of the whole subarachnoid space. So far as we know, no other pathologic studies have been made in this way. Cushing and Weed,2 using the same dye in connection with their work on the spinal fluid, were convinced that

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