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July 1967

Pancytopenia and DeathDisseminated Anonymous Mycobacterial Infection

Arch Intern Med. 1967;120(1):38-46. doi:10.1001/archinte.1967.00300010040007

THERE has been a gradual broadening of our concept of the role of the anonymous mycobacteria (Table 11) in human disease. Formerly considered to be nonpathogenic saprophytes, they are now firmly established as causes of pulmonary disease and of cervical adenitis in children.2 In addition, they have occasionally been obtained in culture from such extrapulmonary foci as the genitourinary tract, bones, and joints.3 Widespread, disseminated, anonymous, mycobacterial infections are rare, however, and we have been able to find only 16 such cases in the English literature.4-14 This report presents two additional patients with disseminated disease due to photochromogenic Mycobacterium kansasii which appeared concomitantly with unusual hematologic disorders. Although the coexistence of disseminated M tuberculosis with blood dyscrasias has been noted frequently, no comment has thus far been made concerning the relationship of disorders of the blood and anonymous mycobacteria. It is our purpose to review briefly

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