The late Greco-Roman and Byzantine contribution to the evolution of laboratory examinations of bodily excrement. Part 1: Urine, sperm, menses and stools.

Clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine : CCLM / FESCC

PubMedID: 12940526

Diamandopoulos AA, Goudas PC. The late Greco-Roman and Byzantine contribution to the evolution of laboratory examinations of bodily excrement. Part 1: Urine, sperm, menses and stools. Clin Chem Lab Med. 2003;41(7):963-9.
It is a common belief that laboratory investigation processes were developed after the 16th century and that before that time no attempts were made to attain a diagnosis by investigating material coming from the human body. In this paper we present data extracted from Byzantine codices that support the following thesis: The idea of examining human excrement for diagnostic purposes has its roots in the Roman and Byzantine eras. The lack of technological means was no obstacle for the doctor to create an "examinational" mind, i.e., to try to correlate the macroscopic findings in the excrement with the pathophysiological mechanism that induced it, using only the human senses.