Medical Dictionary

Shwartzman reaction

noun Shwartz·man reaction \ˈshwȯrts-mən-, ˈshwärts-\

Medical Definition of Shwartzman reaction

  1. :  either of two reactions resulting from administration of endotoxin to experimental animals and especially rabbits:a:  a generalized reaction following two intravenous injections of endotoxin given 24 hours apart and marked by widespread hemorrhage, reduced numbers of white blood cells and platelets, renal necrosis, and death of the animal—called also generalized Shwartzman reactionb:  a localized cutaneous reaction following subcutaneous injection of endotoxin followed 24 hours later by intravenous injection of endotoxin and marked by hemorrhage, necrosis, and white blood cell infiltration at the site of first injection—called also Shwartzman phenomenon

Biographical Note for shwartzman reaction




(1896–1965), American bacteriologist. Born in Odessa, Russia, Shwartzman received his medical degree in Brussels and later worked as a researcher at London's Lister Institute before coming to the United States in 1923. In 1926 he became head of the department of bacteriology at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital, where he spent the bulk of his career. Concurrently he held a professorship at Columbia University. His areas of research included immunological reactions in tissue cultures and the effects of vitamins on bacterial growth. In 1928 he published an article on the phenomenon of local skin reactivity to bacterial filtrates in which he described what is now known as the Shwartzman reaction or Shwartzman phenomenon.

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up Shwartzman reaction? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a favoring of the simplest explanation

Get Word of the Day daily email!