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Article
April 1934

CONSTANCY OF IRON IN THE BLOOD PLASMA AND URINE IN HEALTH AND IN ANEMIA

Author Affiliations

BOSTON

From the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory, Second and Fourth Medical Services (Harvard) of the Boston City Hospital and the Department of Medicine of the Harvard Medical School.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1934;53(4):551-560. doi:10.1001/archinte.1934.00160100073005
Abstract

Clinical studies on the production of hemoglobin following the oral administration of iron indicate the physiologic activity of this substance in hypochromic anemia. Heath and his co-workers1 have shown that in such patients the intramuscular injection of ferric ammonium citrate is followed by a rise in hemoglobin representing approximately a quantitative reappearance of the injected iron as hemoglobin. Their observations suggest that the action of iron on the production of hemoglobin is not vaguely "catalytic" but bears a quantitative relationship to the formation of hemoglobin. The interest of investigators is, therefore, logically directed to the question of absorption of iron, since the degree of absorption of a given iron compound obviously controls the amount of iron available for the regeneration of hemoglobin.

Unless complete experiments on iron balance are performed, studies of absorption based on the elimination of iron in the feces are profitless. This is due to the

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