In a former issue2 we reviewed editorially the important features characterizing the anomaly known as alkaptonuria. It was pointed out that Garrod regards it as a "sport" or an alternative mode of metabolism. Until a very recent date the only clinical significance that alkaptonuria possessed rested in the fact that a number of the cases had been mistaken for diabetes mellitus, owing to the power the urine possessed of reducing copper solutions. Due consideration of the other characteristics of the urine should have obviated this mistake, however. The vast majority of the patients have no symptoms referable to the anomaly, and it appears to have no tendency to shorten life.
Recent observations indicate that a pathologic condition of great interest and rarity is associated with and probably due to the metabolic disturbance in alkaptonuria. Osler2 has just reported two cases of ochronosis, or pigmentation of the cartilages, in
OCHRONOSIS.. JAMA. 1904;XLII(7):467-468. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490520057004