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August 1959

Infantile Pyknocytosis: A Common Erythrocyte Abnormality of the First Trimester

Author Affiliations

From the Child Research Center of Michigan, Children's Hospital of Michigan, and the Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University College of Medicine.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1959;98(2):227-241. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1959.02070020229009

In the course of an intensive study of full-term newborn infants manifesting hyperbilirubinemia in the absence of hemolytic disease, we became aware of the occurrence of markedly distorted and contracted erythrocytes in the blood of some of these patients. These cells conform to the type previously described under a variety of names, such as "burr cells,"1 "irregularly distorted and contracted erythrocytes,"2 and others. In order to evaluate the significance of these cells it became necessary to determine whether and in what percentage they might normally be found in this age group. We therefore studied unselected full-term and premature infants as well as adults. A significant age-determined relationship was found in that burr cells were encountered in slightly greater numbers in healthy full-term infants than in adults, and in significantly greater numbers in prematures than in full-term infants. Where the number of burr cells was within the physiologic range