The acetic anhydride test was introduced in 1923 by Boltz, who regarded a positive result as diagnostic of syphilis of the central nervous system. The technique of the test is simplicity itself, and is as follows: Place 1 c.c. of spinal fluid in a small test-tube. Add 0.3 c.c. of acetic anhydride drop by drop; shake. Add 0.8 c.c. concentrated sulphuric acid drop by drop; shake. After five minutes examine the colour of the fluid against a white background. A lilac or blue-pink coloration is positive.
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