Note on the value of woldman’s phenolphthalein test for gastro-intestinal lesions
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In a series of 105 cases representing a wide range of diseases, including those of the gastrointestinal tract, a large proportion gave a positive Woldman test, i.e. over 40%. An even higher percentage is obtained (46%) if the groups consisting of gastrointestinal lesions and the prenatal cases, totaling 25 cases, are excluded. These figures are entirely out of the realm of probability as representing the percentage of ulcerative gastro-intestinal lesions in an unselected group of cases in a general hospital.
In a number of cases in which the test was repeated several times at appropriate intervals, the results were inconstant, varying from negative to strongly positive.
Some of the cases giving the strongest reactions had no gastro-intestinal lesions; one such case came to autopsy.
In the group of cases representing active gastrointestinal lesions, over 30% gave negative results.
This test does not take into consideration certain substances other than phenolphthalein which give a red color in alkaline urine.
The Woldman phenolphthalein test does not constitute a test for the presence of gastro-intestinal lesions.