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The Heinz Body Hemolytic Anemias

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Thorndike Memorial Laboratory and Second and Fourth (Harvard) Medical Services, Boston City Hospital, and the Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts

Ann Intern Med. 1963;58(4):702-709. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-58-4-702
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With the development of the chemical industry in Germany about a century ago, a prevalent, often severe form of poisoning appeared among workers exposed to certain coal tar derivatives. This consisted of an acute hemolytic process having 2 characteristic features: a brown-to-green discoloration of the blood, creating a form of cyanosis when viewed in the patient; and the presence of inclusion bodies in the red cells that were evident on supravital staining and were called "Heinz bodies" (1). Most such reactions were provoked by aromatic compounds possessing amino, nitro, or hydroxy groups, of which the most notorious were aniline, nitrobenzene,


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