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November 23, 1907


JAMA. 1907;XLIX(21):1776-1777. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.02530210048004

In 1902 Saundby and Russell1 described a case of cyanosis with enlarged spleen and a great increase in the number of red blood corpuscles. In their paper they refer to other similar cases already reported, more particularly those by Cabot,2 one of whose cases is spoken of as chronic cyanosis without discoverable cause ending in cerebral hemorrhage. Saundby and Russell believed that these cases constituted a definite clinical entity and one that was new to the medical sciences. In 1903 Osler3 reported several cases of chronic cyanosis, polycythemia and enlargement of the spleen. In this paper Osler points out that the principal symptoms of the cases were weakness, prostration, headache and vertigo. The blood showed great increase in viscidity, recognizable as it dripped from the finger or ear, being thick and sticky; the number of red corpuscles was greatly increased, as many as twelve millions per cubic

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