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January 24, 1931


JAMA. 1931;96(4):268-269. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.27220300001009

Since Morawitz and Pratt,1 in 1908, produced an experimental anemia in dogs with phenylhydrazine, and Eppinger and Kloss2 ten years later used this drug in the treatment of polycythemia vera in man, it has gained considerable popularity in the treatment of the latter condition. Owen3 in 1924 and 1925 reported the first cases in America to be treated with phenylhydrazine. These early writers, and most subsequent ones, especially Hurwitz and Levitin,4 point out the dangers connected with the use of the drug. They emphasize that it should be given only when it is possible to check the results of treatment by frequent blood counts.

Our case is presented to emphasize the following points:

(a) The diagnosis of polycythemia vera should be definitely established before treatment with phenylhydrazine is begun. (Harrop5 has pointed out that many chronic cardiac and lung conditions may produce a blood picture

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