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February 23, 1952


JAMA. 1952;148(8):653. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930080063017

Since Meyer and his group,1 in 1947, reported elevated fecal lysozyme concentrations in patients with ulcerative colitis, a number of studies of the possible role of lysozyme in the etiology of this disease have been reported. Recently, some investigators have cast doubt on the possibility that lysozyme may cause ulcerative colitis; but they emphasize the usefulness of the fecal lysozyme titer as an index of the degree of activity of the disease process.

Meyer's group2 had previously observed that lysozyme was capable of removing the surface mucus from the stomach of a dog. Simultaneously they reported that in six patients lysozyme titers of gastric juice after vagectomy showed a mean fall of 44.4%, compared to preoperative levels, which suggests that lysozyme production is influenced at least in part by nervous control. They hypothesized that ulcerative colitis may be due to local overproduction of lysozyme followed by a necrotizing

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