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Article
June 1962

Purpura as a Psychosomatic EntityA Psychiatric Study of Autoerythrocyte Sensitization

Author Affiliations

CLEVELAND

Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine, Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals of Cleveland.; Third Year Resident in Psychiatry, Hanna Pavilion of University Hospitals of Cleveland (Dr. Agle); Professor of Medicine, Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Career Investigator of the American Heart Association (Dr. Ratnoff).

Arch Intern Med. 1962;109(6):685-694. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620180047006
Abstract

Autoerythrocyte sensitization is a chronic purpuric state, first described in 1955 by Gardner and Diamond.1 It is the purpose of this paper to demonstrate the frequency of emotional disturbances in patients with this disorder and to suggest that the character traits of these patients play a determining role in the syndrome itself.

Autoerythrocyte sensitization is a disease of adult females, usually becoming clinically manifest after an injury, and characterized by repeated crops of ecchymoses, gastrointestinal bleeding, hematuria, abdominal pain, and neurologic abnormalities. Considerable disability may result from the pain of the cutaneous lesions and from hemarthroses. Gardner and Diamond suspected from the nature of this disorder that the patients had become sensitive to their own blood cells. They produced characteristic lesions by the intracutaneous injection of the patient's own blood or erythrocytic stroma.

Since their initial report, only a few cases have been described.2-5 However in the last

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