ABSORPTION AND ELIMINATION.—.A.1 though there is no doubt whatever that mercury is absorbed and eliminated, the manner in which the process is carried on is not fully understood. H. C. Wood concludes from data at hand that "the single dose of mercury does not remain in the system, but that when the drug is administered constantly for a length of thne elimination does not keep pace \vith absorption, so that the mercury ac cumulates in the tissues." When applied to the skin, mercury has been traced microscopically as far as the hair-bulb, where it has thought until recently to become transformed into corrosive sublimate (Neumann). The same chemical transformation was be lieved by many observers, including Nothnagel and Rossbach, to occur in the intestinal tract. In the presence of albuminous substances the new salt was credited with the power of forming an I insoluble albuminate, which became ble in the presence of chloride of sodium.
Recent labors, however, having demon strated the extreme power of volatiliza tion of mercury (it has an initial molec ular velocity of 180 metres per second, according to Merget), and the theory has been vouchsafed that in its normal or metallic state it penetrated the cu taneous and intestinal mucous surfaces (Rabuteau; quoted by Jullien, "'Maladies Veneriennes," p. 1161). The protiodide, for instance, would become transformed into metallic mercury and biniodide, the latter, in turn, being decomposed and oivinc, rise to the iodide of sodium found in the urine; calomel would yield pure mercury and bichloride, which, in turn, would slowly be transformed into chlo ride of sodium and metallic mercury in the blood. Thus, any preparation of mercury would finally yield its original element. This theory, according to Jullien, of Paris, a syphilographer of ex tensive experience, is sustained by much clinical evidence. He alludes to the many instances in which metallic mer cury has been found in various tissues (Van Swieten), the pus of abscesses (Maldore), bones (Hyrtl), etc.
As regards the accumulation of mer cury in the organism, Vajda and Pasch kis and Sigismund found it in the urine thirteen years after cessation of mer curial treatment, but Schuster attrihnted this result to faulty technique in the case of the first observers and to con stant exposure of the subject to diffused mercury, in the case of Sigisinund. Still,
Schuster himself found it in the fwees months after the treatment has been stopped.
In administration of the insolnfile salts of merenry the metal may be found de posited in the following organs, those containing the larger amounts being first: Kidneys, liver, spleen. then the intestinal . r .1 t Met-ens-Mg por . - r.e tit per part downward),t: +11 all .111 t.IIIIIS in the heart skele ? Ho:•.. .1, and. in some cases, ill the ..tal In the blood collected in the Karl r and the :101111.
14ttr. klin. ltund., Sept. 23, '92).
Vs. V dititittation, this depends Cut natincr in which it is admin -st(rt. . and found tiler4rN .11 tHc urine and saliva two hours ..'t r it -t n. Thederer obtained, fromt,f doL-, per cent. of the It V ad ministered during thirty :inv.,. anti from its urine 1 per cent. 1-ot. bran, heart, lungs, spleen, pancreas, :L,. penis. muscles, and liver were und to contain mercury: the liver mo,t and the muscles the least. It bas Aso been found in the milk of nurs in--women. and their sucklings, and in . The experiments of INIagencon and Berg.cret would tend to show, how r. that a single dose of mercury is mplt5-ely eliminated.
After a sing,le dose of mercury its elimi nati -n is rapid and soinetimes complete in twenty-four hours. but if a continuous treatment is interrupted its excretion ntinues for some time, and Kiissmaul ind Gorup-Iii.',sanez have found it in the livcr as much as a year after its adminis •ratinn had been stopped. The amount if mercury that can be steadily elimi r ited for many weeks from the kidneys - lien the body is saturated is about The. practical conclusion drawn frrm these researches is that it is well to stop the administration of mercury - hen the amount eliminated by the urine has reached its normal maximum. M. F. Balzar and Mlle. Klumpke (Revue de M:41.. Al r., 'SS).