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March 1955

Hereditary Ovalocytosis (Elliptocytosis) with Hypersplenism

Author Affiliations


From the Departments of Medicine, Chicago Wesley Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University Medical School.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1955;95(3):438-444. doi:10.1001/archinte.1955.00250090076010

Oval or elliptically shaped erythrocytes normally occur in the camel and llama but are comparatively unusual as a hereditary trait in the human.* While the phenomenon is said to have been observed by Goltz † as early as 1860, it was first reported by Dresbach ‡ (1904) and later firmly established as a hereditary anomaly by Bishop4 (1914) and by Hunter and Adams 5 (1929). A number of interesting presentations are included in the approximately 60 reports which have accumulated in the medical literature since Dresbach's original papers. Of these, the reports and discussions of Lambrecht,1 Gunther,6 Leitner,7 Wyandt and co-workers,8 and, most recently, Guasch and Raichs 9 are especially informative. The limitations of pure morphology and of morphological description and classification of blood cells make it impossible to evaluate critically all the reported cases, but it appears that between 350 and 400 cases of this anomaly have been reported.