Pellagra-Hydrochloric Acid in the Stomach Contents

J. Birney GuthrieDepartment of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, Tulane University

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The earliest statement in the literature that we can find relative to the occurrence of HCl in the stomach secretions in pellagra, is that of Angostoni in 1893 (1) quoted by H. F. Harris (9): “The study of the chemistry of the stomach of pellagrins shows a notable degree of hypopepsia and hypochlorhydia, with catarrh of the mucosa of the stomach and weakness of its motorpower and its innervation. While in some instances the total acidity was normal. The average was distinctly less than half of this amount. Likewise hydrochloric acid varied from none at all to an amount, in some instances above the normal” Harris himself says, in discussion, “There is a general agreement among the writers that there is as a rule, absence or great diminution in hydrochloric acid.” Nesbit, (11) at the National Conference for Pellagra (1909) reported analyses of the stomach contents of ten cases.