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May 24, 1958


Author Affiliations

Jerusalem, Israel

From the Metabolic Unit. Rothschild-Hadassah-University Hospital, and the departments of experimental pathology and biochemistry of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School.

JAMA. 1958;167(4):453-454. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.72990210001009

Like other rare diseases, myohemoglobinuria1 (myoglobinuria) is believed to occur more often than the sparse number of reported cases (about 35) would indicate. Even when the diagnosis of myohemoglobinuria is entertained, it is difficult to distinguish between myohemoglobinuria and hemoglobinuria, a much more frequent condition. This differentiation until recently has required the use of a highly precise and carefully calibrated spectrophotometer usually found only in research laboratories. Even with such an instrument, and with both pure myohemoglobin (myoglobin) and hemoglobin saturated with carbon monoxide available for control determinations, differentiation is difficult since it depends on small differences in the position of spectral bands.2 It has recently been suggested that, with a fluorescent lamp as a source of light, the hand spectroscope may be used to identify myohemoglobin.3 Also, in one case, paper electrophoresis has been used to diagnose myohemoglobinuria.4 A simple chemical method for differentiating between