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Definition of Litmus

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Litmus: A pigment used as a test for acidity and alkalinity. Litmus paper turns red in acid and blue in an alkaline solution. Litmus is prepared from lichens like Roccella tinctoria. Figuratively, a litmus test is a decision in which a single factor is the determinant.

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

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