[A Chinese patient with pernicious anemia; a medical experience from the Indonesian period].Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd 1996; 140(10):561-3NT
On May 19th 1952 a 64-year-old Chinese man was admitted to a hospital at Yogyakarta (Indonesia) on account of a sawing noise in both ears and some soreness of the tongue. He had macrocytic anemia (haemoglobin: 3.7 mmol/l) and the tongue showed some smooth patches. A presumptive diagnosis of pernicious anaemia was confirmed by gastric analysis which revealed a histamine fast achlorhydria. On treatment with vitamin B12 the noise in the ears rapidly disappeared and there was a characteristic rise in reticulocytes and haemoglobin content. After 3 years the patient died of inoperable gastric carcinoma. There probably was a hereditary component as in a 54-year-old cousin, who also suffered (and died) from gastric carcinoma, gastric analysis showed a histamine fast achlorhydria. The patient is the first case of pernicious anaemia described in a Chinese resident of Indonesia. A survey of the literature revealed that until now pernicious anaemia has been recorded in 31 Chinese patients, in chronological order from the following countries: U.S (1945), Indonesia (1954), Singapore (1967), Hong-Kong (1969) and China (1990). In the autochthonous Chinese population no case has yet been reported.