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February 1, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(5):326. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480050040003

The so-called granular degeneration of the red blood corpuscles of Grawitz has been a subject for much discussion. It is characterized by the presence in the red blood corpuscles of basophilic granules. Some investigators consider the bodies to be fragments of broken-down nuclei (karyorhexis), others believe them to be artefacts or postmortem phenomena, while most authors agree with Grawitz in recognizing the basophilic granules, sometimes seen in red blood corpuscles, as due to degenerative changes in the cells, and having no connection with a process of karyolysis. This form of degeneration has been observed in a variety of diseased conditions, such as pernicious anemia, malaria, carcinoma of the stomach, various suppurative diseases, leukemia, lead poisoning, etc. It is especially prominent in cases of poisoning by lead, and may be found in the blood of persons working with lead when all other signs of poisoning by the metal are wanting. Moritz