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May 1939


Author Affiliations

From the Pediatric Research Laboratory of the Jewish Hospital.

Am J Dis Child. 1939;57(5):1044-1057. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1939.01990050050005

The term "marble bones" refers to certain gross physical characteristics of the bone in osteopetrosis rather than to its actual chemical composition or to the crystal structure of its inorganic matter. Although several postmortem examinations have been made in cases of this condition, few complete reports on the chemical composition of the bones are available. McCune and Bradley1 collected 5 cases in which analyses of bone had been made. In 1 of these only the calcium determination was reported. In another case the calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, carbon dioxide and water contents were determined. The results justify suspicion as to their accuracy. The only report of a case resembling our own was made by Clifton and Frank from analyses by Smith Freeman. In their monograph on marble bones2 the following statement appears:

The chemical composition of the bone ash in osteopetrosis as determined by our own observations and those

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