6. History of Urinalysis at Central State Hospital in the Early 1900's

Ashley Titley Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Faculty Sponsor(s): George Sandusky Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
In the 1890’s, clinical pathology was defined as the examination of urine, blood, sputum, and bile. Charles W. Purdy claimed, “through urinalysis alone can an almost daily increasing number of diseases be determined.” On the grounds of the former Central State Hospital (CSH), the Indiana Medical History Museum stands as a working and interactive museum housed in a building that was the former CSH pathological building. This building is the oldest surviving pathology building in the United States. The urinalysis was the first lab test that was used to complement clinical diagnosis in CSH in the pathology building. There was a rapid increase in cases of central nervous system syphilis throughout the 1920s and 1930s. In this study, approximately 280 cases from these autopsies were evaluated for clinical records and lab values. The earliest case with urinalysis found on record was April of 1914. The urinalysis examination at the late 1920’s included the following: transparency, reaction (pH), albumen, sugar, and microscopic examination for cells and crystals. There were three methods for determining albumen: boiling, trichloracetic acid, and nitro-magnesium. The analysis for sugar had two methods which included: fehling and phenylhydrazine. Fehling's solution is a chemical reagent used to differentiate between water-soluble carbohydrate and ketone functional groups, and as a test for reducing sugars and non-reducing sugars, supplementary to the Tollens' reagent test. Phenylhydrazine was the first hydrazine derivative characterized, reported by Emil Fischer in 1875. [6][7] By 1930, most patients had multiple urinalysis examinations performed.
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