1920 Archives of Internal Medicine  
In 1915 1 I described some experiments which indicated that chloroform is dissociated in the body in such a way that free hydrochloric acid is formed from it and that the toxic effects of chloroform are probably to a great extent due to the action of the liberated hydrochloric acid. The evidence on which this view was based was as follows: 1. The ease of the formation of three molecules of hydrochloric acid from one molecule of chloroform outside the body by oxidation in the presence of water
more » ... presence of water suggests that also within the body in the presence of water and available oxygen the same reaction might take place. 2. Lesions in the liver similar to those which occur in chloroform poisoning can be produced experimentally with hydrochloric acid. 3. Free hydrogen and free chlorin ions were demonstrable in the necrotic areas of the liver. 4. Observations on other chlorin substitution products of methane (dichlormethane and tetrachlormethane) showed that not only did they both have the property of producing central necrosis of the liver, but that also this property was in direct proportion to the amount of hydrochloric acid which each could yield theoretically in its breakdown, i. e., that the series ran in this order, CH2 Cl2 < CHC13 < CC14 in respect to the power of each to produce central necrosis of the liver. 5. Other alkyl halides of the same type as chloroform, viz., bromoform (CHBr3) and iodoform (CHI3), produce lesions in the liver and elsewhere identical to those of chloroform ; and evidence was submitted that at least in the case of iodoform the analogous halogen acid (hydriodic) is formed in the body, as shown by the fact that neutral salts of this acid are excreted in the urine. 6. The property of producing central necrosis of the liver is apparently one which is common to alkyl halides in general, since ethyl chlorid, ethyl bromid, ethyl iodid and ethylene bromid all produce the lesions seen in typical chloroform poisoning; and, furthermore, that ethyl bromid and ethyl From the
doi:10.1001/archinte.1920.00090350002001 fatcat:lccyiyomefasxfg4fy4pii6a6i