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TREATMENT OF SICKLE CELL ANEMIA

BYRD S. LEAVELL, M.D.
AMA Arch Intern Med. 1954;94(5):801-805. doi:10.1001/archinte.1954.00250050115011.
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SICKLE cell anemia was described first by Herrick in 1910.1 Since then, surveys of Negroes in the United States have revealed the incidence of the symptomless sickle cell trait to be about 9% and incidence of sickle cell anemia to be about 2.25 per thousand.2 In the past decade sickle cell anemia has been the subject of many studies, which have contributed greatly to our understanding of many of the abnormalities that occur in the disease. Conclusions drawn from these studies form the basis for our current ideas of the pathogenesis of the disease. Since our present therapy is directed toward this aspect of the disease, the pathogenesis of sickle cell anemia will be reviewed briefly before treatment is discussed.

It now seems well established that the sickling phenomenon is due to a gene which produces sickle cell anemia when it is present in the homozygous state and

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