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March 21, 1977

Pernicious Anemia

Author Affiliations

Strong Memorial Hospital Rochester, NY

JAMA. 1977;237(12):1268. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270390084042

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Published on the 50th anniversary of the first demonstration that liver extract provides effective therapy for pernicious anemia, this monograph summarizes current knowledge of this previously fatal disease. Nearly a third of the book is devoted to a historical review of the subject, and it is obvious that the author is intimately familiar with this material, which he describes in fascinating detail. All of the great discoveries and the individuals who made them—Minot, Murphy, Whipple, Castle, and a host of others—are described along with reduplications of case histories, anecdotes, and profuse illustrations.

The subsequent chapters deal with clinical and hematologic manifestations of the disease, neurologic complications, vitamin B12 intrinsic factor, and pathogenic aspects of the disease. Emphasis rests almost entirely on hematologic abnormalities; unfortunately practically nothing is presented to indicate that the disorder is basically one of the gastrointestinal tract, and no summary statement is included to describe the