It is generally agreed that the ferrocyanide ion is of a low order of oral toxicity, even in relatively large dosage. Kobert states that potassium ferrocyanide in alkaline solution is nontoxic. In Precis de Toxicologie it likewise is asserted that this salt is nonpoisonous and that it is useful as a diuretic. There is recorded a case of ingestion of a rather sizable dose (30 grams) of potassium ferrocyanide by a man aged 52 which caused serious, but apparently not critical illness. The patient suffered damage to the kidney tubules with marked albuminuria, appearance of casts, and prolonged disturbances of concentration ability. The poisoning was said to be due to the ferrocyanide ion and not to any liberated hydrogen cyanide.
The slow intravenous injection of 5 percent sodium ferrocyanide solution administered to children and adults in clinical tests was without toxic effect. Glomerular function was studied in 45 normal children and adults and in 70 cases with glomerulonephritis, hypertension, and tonsillitis. The results indicate that the quantity excreted by the kidneys is independent of the volume of the urine and is greater than 25 percent in the first thirty minutes.
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