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March 12, 1932


Author Affiliations


From the Stanford University Medical School Service at the San Francisco Laguna Honda Home.

JAMA. 1932;98(11):878-881. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730370018007

Abnormal shapes of human erythrocytes are generally associated with an anemia indicative of some disease affecting the hematopoietic system. In a few rare instances, elliptic and rod-shaped red blood cells have been noted in perfectly normal individuals with otherwise normal conditions in the blood. Such oval cells have received scant attention in the literature. The first report by Dresbach1 appeared in 1904. Up to 1929, only seven references2 to the condition were available. These included only fifteen cases, but the hereditary transmission of these bizarre erythrocyte forms was appreciated. In 1929, twelve cases were reported3 occurring in three generations in a family with sixteen members. In 1931, Lawrence4 reported four additional cases, and two as yet unpublished cases have recently been studied.5

As only thirty-three instances of elliptic erythrocytes have been noted in mankind as a presumably nonpathogenic observation, the present study of fourteen additional