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July 24, 1954


Author Affiliations

Bristol, Conn.

JAMA. 1954;155(13):1158. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.73690310008007g

The characteristic signs and symptoms of favism are pallor (usually abrupt in onset), jaundice, splenomegaly, malaise, fever, hemoglobinuria, and, the sine qua non, a history of ingestion of the bean of Vicia fava. This bean, variously known as fava bean, broad bean, horse bean, and Italian bean, constitutes a staple in the diet of many families of Italian ethnic background.1 The clinical syndrome referred to here is produced only when the bean is eaten by a sensitized person. To date, only seven cases of favism in children and three in adults have been reported in the United States, despite the popularity of this food. This hemolytic syndrome has been reported frequently in the Italian literature.2

REPORT OF A CASE  A 2-year-old boy of Italian extraction was seen on April 24, 1953, because of lassitude and increasing pallor of two days' duration. The urine was syrupy and dark. When

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