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Historical perspectives in clinical pathology: a history of glucose measurement
  1. Nareshni Moodley1,
  2. Unathi Ngxamngxa1,
  3. Magdalena J Turzyniecka1,
  4. Tahir S Pillay2,3
  1. 1Department of Chemical Pathology & NHLS Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
  2. 2Faculty of Health Sciences and Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Department of Chemical Pathology and NHLS Tshwane Academic Division, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
  3. 3Division of Chemical Pathology, Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to Professor Tahir Pillay, Department of Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Private Bag X323, Arcadia 0007, South Africa; tspillay{at}


This is the second in the series of historical articles dealing with developments in clinical pathology. As one of the most commonly measured analytes in pathology, the assessment of glucose dates back to the time of the ancient Egyptians. It was only in the 19th century that advances in chemistry led to the identification of the sugar in urine being glucose. The following century witnessed the development of more chemical and enzymatic methods which became incorporated into the modern analysers and point-of-care instruments which are as ubiquitous as the modern day cellphones. Tracking the milestones in these developments shows the striking paradigms and the many parallels in the development of other clinical chemistry methods.


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