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July 30, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLIII(5):332. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02500050040005

The etiology of a group of diseases in which considerable enlargement of the spleen—splenomegaly—is the most noticeable anatomical feature has baffled many attempts at solution. Belonging to this class of diseases are primarily splenomegaly, or splenic anemia; splenomegaly with cirrhosis of the liver, or Banti's disease, and tropical splenomegaly, known also under a variety of names, such as kala-azer, dum-dum fever, etc. However, a good deal of light has now been shed on the etiology of the latter. Leishman1 was the first investigator of tropical splenomegaly, who, in 1903, in a case of this kind in a spleen weighing two pounds and seven ounces, found innumerable parasitic bodies which he considered to be a peculiar form of trypanosoma. These bodies were more thoroughly investigated by Donovan,2 and since then by several other observers, including Laveran, the discoverer of the hemamœba malariæ, who classified them as a species of

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