August 1974

Sickle Cell Nomenclature

Author Affiliations

Beverly Hills, Calif

Arch Intern Med. 1974;134(2):388. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320200198034

To the Editor.  —May I be permitted to add a short note to the excellent and exhaustive "Sickle Cell Symposium" published in the April issue of the Archives? The term "sickle cell disease" was first used in 1940 by me.1 I had become fascinated by this new experience with the clinical pathology of Negroes, after my immigration to New Orleans from Vienna, Austria. At that time, only the distinction of the harmless sickle cell trait (sicklemia) from the serious sickle cell anemia had been known. Extensive clinical studies at Charity Hospital of New Orleans and later at the General Hospital of Los Angeles prompted me to coin the term "sickle cell disease" because anemia, though the best known and most frequent sign of this disease, is not the essential and not the most dangerous one. Circulatory stasis in the small blood vessels of the internal organs is the primary

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