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Article
February 6, 1909

THE SPLEEN AND THE METABOLISM OF IRON

JAMA. 1909;LII(6):478. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.02540320050010
Abstract

The function of the spleen has long been a riddle puzzling alike to physiologists and pathologists. It is known that it is an organ of importance in connection with the formation of the blood and also one in which dying red corpuscles are destroyed. Surgeons have removed the spleen in repeated instances without injury to the general health of the patients, a fact which makes it seem certain that the functions of this organ can be taken over by other parts of the body when necessity arises. Recently new light seems to have been thrown on the function of the spleen by certain researches of Grossenbacher.† This observer compared the iron metabolism in normal dogs with that in animals of the same litter from which the spleen had been removed. In the splenectomized dogs he found the daily excretion of iron larger than in normal dogs. This larger iron output

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