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Article
July 21, 1956

HEREDITARY LEPTOCYTOSIS (THALASSEMIA MINOR)

JAMA. 1956;161(12):1132-1135. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970120014004
Abstract

• In hereditary leptocytosis the hemoglobin is normal as to composition but deficient in quantity and the red corpuscles are present in normal or increased numbers as revealed by the red blood cell count but are small in size as measured either by the hematocrit (cell-pack) or by micrometry on dried smears.

Two cases here described show how this asymptomatic condition, discovered incidentally in other connections, became a cause of concern and continuing expense to the patients. The data from 28 additional cases show the high erythrocyte counts, low hemoglobin content, basophilic stippling, high osmotic resistance, and other peculiarities of the red corpuscles in this condition. It causes no inconvenience unless it is discovered, misinterpreted, and treated.

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