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November 12, 1898


JAMA. 1898;XXXI(20):1182-1183. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.02450200050007

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The hematologist frequently encounters under the microscope crystalloid bodies of varied shapes and sizes. As a rule these are without any practical significance. Their presence, however, may be accounted for in various ways. In the first place they may be of hemoglobin. We have known for a considerable time that though the hemoglobin of human blood resists laboratory crystallization, that of some of the lower animals, notably the guinea-pig, can be readily crystallized outside the body. In the healthy blood crystallized hemoglobin can be easily demonstrated: a large drop of blood is placed upon a slide, and after coagulation of the margin has taken place the cover is lowered gently, and after from twelve to twenty-four hours the hemoglobin appears as rhombic crystals. In diseased blood, and particularly in leukemia, pernicious anemia, and the septic processes, septicemia and pyemia, it appears much earlier—from a few minutes to a few hours.

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