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October 19, 1929


Author Affiliations

Physician to Policlinico Umberto I and to the Hospitals of Rome; Assistant in the University of California Medical School SAN FRANCISCO

JAMA. 1929;93(16):1205-1208. doi:10.1001/jama.1929.02710160019005

Ever since Vaquez, in 1892, described for the first time the disease that bears his name, an efficient therapy has been sought in vain. Although the clinical description was complete for many years, its pathogenesis remained obscure. The reasons for this long and laborious period lie chiefly in the rarity of the disease, and in the fact that the few cases could rarely be checked by autopsy. I shall not repeat here the clinical picture of the disease.

ETIOLOGY  The first organ held responsible for the syndrome of Vaquez was the spleen. In order to explain the pathogenic mechanism of the disease, it was held that the normal equilibrium between formation and destruction of red corpuscles was broken; that is, that the spleen, an organ eminently erythrolytic, was more or less insufficient, thus resulting in the polycythemia. The observations of Asher and Vogel, who found an increase in erythrocytes after