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December 17, 1927


Author Affiliations

Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine and Instructor in Medicine, Respectively, Rush Medical College of the University of Chicago CHICAGO
From the John McCormick Institute for Infectious Diseases.

JAMA. 1927;89(25):2093-2094. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690250015005

During 1920, one of us observed polyglobulia in some cases of epidemic encephalitis. Although an apparent increase in erythrocytes may be due to various factors, including inspissation of the blood, these observations made it worth while to investigate the effect on erythropoiesis of experimental lesions of the brain, especially those of the regions usually affected in encephalitis. There are, besides this, other facts which suggest that the central nervous system plays an important rôle in the regulation of at least the number of erythrocytes per cubic millimeter: we refer to the polyglobulia of high altitudes due to lack of oxygen and to the oligemia induced in animals in an atmosphere rich in oxygen. It is, indeed, difficult not to assume that some stimulus originates in the respiratory center besides the probable reflex which leads to a contraction of the spleen and the resulting transitory polyglobulia. Although there must be unquestionably