A rapid clinical method of estimating the bismuth content of a fluid has not hitherto been available. The immediate occasion for devising such a method was the control of medication with a bismuth compound which we are developing for oral use. The method here described is specially adapted for the study of urine, although it probably can be applied to the study of other body fluids, such as the cerebrospinal fluid, the saliva, the serum and the effusions, which are readily oxidized. It would not do for tissues, feces and materials containing large amounts of organic matter. Its use might be extended to the study of intramuscular medication with a bismuth compound, the analysis of mixtures and products of diverse character and diagnosis in cases in which poisoning is suspected.
The method makes use of well known principles of direct oxidation by potassium permanganate, sulfuric acid and heat