Prontosil Ionization

Stewart, James (1942) Prontosil Ionization. MD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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A new method of treating local lesions infected mainly by streptococci and staphylococci has been discussed. It consists of using Prontosil Soluble as an electrolyte and by means of a constant current of a few mille-amperes ionising it into the affected part. Oral administration is avoided. The Prontosil is driven into the tissues and a deeper interaction with the body fluids secured than can be effected by local application alone. The principle of using a specific drug as an electrolyte against specific germs is also new, A sulphanilamide preparation (Prontosil Soluble) has here been used against streptococci and staphylococci, Sulphathiazole might prove more effective against staphylococci and a mixture of these drugs against a mixed infection. This, of course, requires investigation. A brief outline of ionization has been given. The history of sulphanilamide is outlined and as complete a record as possible made of the reports in the literature on local application of the drug. Some experiments have shown the bacteriostatic power of Prontosil Soluble and its enhancement by ionization. The rapidity of penetration and the depth of pentration have proved by experiments to be multiplied very considerably by utilising this method. During a period of observation of nearly two years, fifty-five cases have been, or still are, under treatment. Practically all were chronic cases where other methods of treatment had failed to alleviate the condition. Chronic cases were sought in this investigation to give the most crucial test possible to the idea involved, the assumption being that acute cases could heal spontaneously. Again, if efficacious in chronic cases, suitable cases could, in future, be selected in their early stages for prontosil ionization. Sixteen patients had received sulphanilamide treatment locally or orally without benefit before having ionization. 69% of these were cured and 12% greatly improved. There was no injury to tissues. The patient was made more comfortable and his feeling of well-being improved. The wounds were deodorised, the multiplication of germs and production of pus stopped, and the growth of tissues was stimulated. Of all the cases treated, 62% were cured, 17% were greatly improved, 11% showed no change, and one case (or 2%) was worse following treatment. The average duration of disease was 175 weeks for those cured or almost cured, the duration of treatment 6 weeks and the average number of treatments required to gain this end was thirteen. Streptococci were more susceptable to the treatment than staphylococci. For cases cured, the figures were 80% and 71% respectively Abscesses, the average duration of which had been fifty weeks, showed 65% cures in five weeks time as the result of treatment. A further 10% have been greatly improved, are still under treatment and are approaching the stage of complete cure. When an abscess is deep or is not responding to the usual treatment, ionization with Prontosil Soluble offers a method very hopeful of cure. Cases of nasal catarrh and antral infection responded well to treatment. Five applications, on an average cured 45% and greatly relieved a further 33%, the latter being practically catarrh free. These were chronic cases, the patients having suffered for five years on an average. Prontosil ionization is quite a useful weapon to fight chronic nasal infections when streptococci or staphylococci are present. Only four cases of chronic otitis media were treated and that not very successfully - one was cured, two improved and one showed no change. The difficulty lies in securing universal contact behind the tympanum. The response of varicose ulcers to Prontosil ionization was very slow and not impressive. All that can be said is that when other methods fail, it is worth trying. It is ineffective in treating dermatitis but in impetigo contagiosa it was quickly efficient. From experience gained, this treatment could be expected to be equally useful in resistant skin diseases of a pustular type. Traumatic wounds, with large areas denuded of skin and which normally would have required skin grafts healed quickly and satisfactorily under ionization. Where treatment has been completed, all have healed, and the remaining case still undergoing treatment is almost ready for discharge. The results have been aesthetically good. The new skin was strong, pliable and healthy. It is suggested that, before skin grafting is resorted to, such wounds should be given, as the method of choice, treatment by Prontosil ionization.

Item Type: Thesis (MD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Medicine, Pharmaceutical sciences
Date of Award: 1942
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1942-79543
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2020 17:03
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2020 17:03

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