1. The hydrogen ion concentration of joint exudates aspirated from patients ill with acute rheumatic fever, arthritis of undetermined origin, and bacterial arthritis was determined. The hydrogen ion concentrations of the joint exudates from patients with acute rheumatic fever approximated the normal reaction of blood, varying from pH 7.27 to 7.42. Exudates from patients with arthritis of undetermined origin varied in pH from 7.33 to 7.47. The pH of a joint effusion occurring in a patient with myocardial insufficiency was 7.34. Bacteriologically, all of these fluids were sterile by ordinary means of cultivation. An exudate aspirated from a knee infected with Staphylococcus aureus had a pH of 6.69, while that from a patient having an arthritis due to Streptococcus hœmolyticus was also acid, having a pH of 6.19.
2. Since a definitely acid medium is necessary for the liberation of free salicylic acid and since all of the joint fluids from patients with acute rheumatic fever were slightly alkaline, no free salicylic acid could possibly exist in such joint fluids following the administration of salicylates.