The reports of the simultaneous occurrence of leukemia and Mongolism by Schunk (two cases),1 Bernhard (three cases),2 Krivit and Good (five cases),3 and Merrit and Harris (four cases) 4 and the personal communications of Dr. Sydney Farber (eight cases) and Dr. James Wolff (four cases) prompted a nationwide survey to determine the incidence of this entity. The observation of a surprisingly large number of patients with concomitant leukemia and Mongolism was indeed intriguing and provoked an effort to determine whether or not the joint occurrence of these two diseases was fortuitous or biologically significant.
It was reasoned that if this surprising combination of unusual diseases were found to occur more frequently than could be explained by chance, a common denominator for the two disorders might be sought. For example, among the etiologic possibilities one might consider teratogenic forces (i. e., virus infection, nutritional factors, toxicity, or stress)
KRIVIT W, GOOD RA. Simultaneous Occurrence of Mongolism and Leukemia: Report of a Nationwide Survey. AMA Am J Dis Child. 1957;94(3):289–293. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1957.04030040075012
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