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February 1958

Cold Agglutinins: VIII. Occurrence of Cold Isohemagglutinins in Patients with Primary Atypical Pneumonia or Influenza Viral Infection, Boston City Hospital, June, 1950, to July, 1956

Author Affiliations


From the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory, Second and Fourth (Harvard) Medical Services, Boston City Hospital, and the Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1958;101(2):462-466. doi:10.1001/archinte.1958.00260140294040

The availability of new methods for the isolation and study of viral diseases and the discovery of new groups of viruses related to nonbacterial respiratory infections with the use of these methods 1 have shed some light on the etiology of a small proportion of the infections that have been recognized under the vague name "primary atypical pneumonia," commonly referred to as "virus pneumonia." In 1943, Peterson, Ham, and Finland,2 after encountering three patients with acute hemolytic anemia associated with cold agglutinins (autohemagglutinins) among such cases, studied this phenomenon and found that the great majority of cases of primary atypical pneumonia seen at the Boston City Hospital during that season showed significant titers of cold isohemagglutinins in their serum. At about the same time, Turner 3 made a similar observation among military personnel stationed in England.

More extensive studies by Turner and Finland and their respective co-workers4-6 indicated