Injections were made of a sterile 0.4 per cent solution of germanium dioxide into four lots of mature male and female albino rats. Exact conditions of control were maintained. To two lots there was administered in four doses at intervals of 4 days a total of 6.6 mg. of the oxide per kilo of body weight. To two lots there was given in three doses at like intervals a total of 45 mg. of the compound per kilo of body weight. In each lot there was one rat which served as a control and which did not receive any germanium. A preliminary period of observation was maintained as a further control during which two determinations of the erythrocyte and leucocyte counts of the blood were made 7 days apart on all the rats. Weekly counts were made on all the rats during the progress of the investigation which lasted for 4 weeks, during 3 of which the treated animals were under the influence of germanium. In the first group 11 days elapsed between the last injection and the last count. In the second group the interval was 14 days.
It was found that without exception all of the test rats responded to the germanium dioxide by a marked and sustained rise in the number of erythrocytes in the blood which ranged from 1 to nearly 5 millions.
These results are statistically valid.
There was an apparent tendency for the degree of effect to be related to the initial erythrocyte number, in that with a lower initial count there seemed to take place a greater rise, and vice versa.
There was no indication that the larger doses of germanium dioxide exerted a greater stimulating effect on the production of the resultant erythrocythemia than the smaller doses.
There is evidence that the effect is quick in making its appearance. The rise in the red cell count was found to occur within a week, and after but two injections of the oxide.
Indications were obtained that germanium dioxide tends to increase the coagulability of the blood.
Autopsy findings showed color changes in the liver and bone marrow.
We believe that germanium dioxide is an erythrocytogenic agent and we hope that fruitful results will come from its therapeutic application.