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THE FRAGILITY OF THE RED BLOOD CORPUSCLES IN INFECTIOUS DISEASE

ROY M. GREENTHAL, M.D.; WM. S. O'DONNELL, M.D.
Am J Dis Child. 1921;22(2):212-217. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1921.04120020109009.
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The study of the fragility of the red blood cells has so far revealed little of interest or importance, aside from the striking decrease in resistance seen in cases of hemolytic family jaundice. Butler1 in a careful study of red cell fragility investigated among other diseases the resistance of the red blood cells in pneumonia, sepsis, and to a limited extent, scarlet fever and erysipelas. In looking over his results in cases of pneumonia and sepsis, we were impressed by the fact that certain of the severer cases, especially those with a high fever, showed an increased resistance of the red corpuscles. This might be explained in two ways, either there was some chemical or physical change in the blood corpuscles produced by the fever, or else the toxins formed by the infecting agents produced some effect on the red blood cells. We theiefore became interested in ascertaining the

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