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Chromosome Examinations in Patients on Lithium Carbonate

Lissy F. Jarvik, MD, PhD; Nutan P. Bishun, PhD; Herman Bleiweiss, MD; Takashi Kato, MD; Emilia Moralishvili, MS
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1971;24(2):166-168. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1971.01750080070011.
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Because of a report in the literature that three patients on lithium carbonate showed chromosome damage in excess of that seen in controls, peripheral blood cultures were set up from 16 manic-depressive patients who had taken lithium carbonate for periods of two weeks to over two years (seven of them for one year or more), from four manic-depressive patients on placebo, and from ten control subjects. Even though the highest average frequency of breaks occurred in the lithium carbonate group (3.3%), the value corresponded to the means (1.9% to 4.3%) generally observed in our laboratory and the difference between the lithium carbonate group and the present controls (1.5% breaks) did not reach statistical significance.


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