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May 1989

Diagnosis of Iron Deficiency

Arch Intern Med. 1989;149(5):1222. doi:10.1001/archinte.1989.00390050166041

To the Editor.—The article by Thompson et al1 in the October 1988 issue of the Archives makes an important contribution to the diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia. Because the traditional methods of diagnosis are questionable, I hope that all laboratories will acquire the ability to measure free erythrocyte protoporphyrin. Free erythrocyte protoporphyrin testing is rapid, simple, and cheap.2 It will not replace serum ferritin or bone marrow examination, but it is an excellent screen for iron deficiency and should be more widely available.

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