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Massive Vitamin B12 Therapy in Pernicious Anemia

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Abstract

RICKES1 and his co-workers and Smith2 in 1948 simultaneously reported the development of a new material which they had isolated and found to be of value in the treatment of pernicious anemia. Numerous reports have appeared in the literature since this initial introduction of vitamin B12 to the medical profession. It is now generally recognized that the parenteral administration of this crystalline material commercially obtained from Streptomycin griseus is equally effective as liver extract in controlling the hematologic and neurologic manifestations of pernicious anemia.

A patient with neurologic manifestations of pernicious anemia was given massive parenteral injections of vitamin B12* to determine whether a more rapid response could be obtained than with conventional methods of therapy.

Case Report

A white housewife, 65 years of age, was first seen at the Clinic on October 10, 1949, with the chief complaint of difficulty in walking since a stroke 3 years before. In 1947 there had been an abrupt onset of inability to use the right arm and leg satisfactorily following a fall. Since that time she complained of difficulty in maintaining her balance and of numbness of both legs and the right arm. One week prior to admission she dislocated her right shoulder. The dislocation was reduced without difficulty. The patient’s past history and that of her family were noncontributory; she denied any history of anemia.

Physical examination revealed an elderly, obese patient not appearing acutely ill. Her blood pressure was 190/110, pulse 100 and regular, temperature normal. The skin and mucous. . .


 

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