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September 1956

Copper Deficiency in Infants: A Syndrome Characterized by Hypocupremia, Iron Deficiency Anemia, and

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
Markle Scholar in Medical Science (Dr. Sturgeon).; From the Hematology Research Laboratory, Childrens Hospital, and the Department of Pediatrics, University of Southern California School of Medicine.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1956;92(3):254-265. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1956.02060030248002

Introduction  Low serum copper concentrations are characteristic of the newborn infant * and are known to occur in nephrosis,† in sprue,7 and in the hepatolenticular degenerative disorder of Wilson.‡ In addition, Zurukzoglu-Sklavounou in Switzerland,11 Stransky in the Phillipine Islands12 and Axtrup in Sweden,13 although attaching little or no significance to the findings, have published data indicating the sporadic occurrence of hypocupremia in infants with hypochromic, microcytic anemia. On the other hand, it is generally concluded that the serum copper concentration is normal or elevated in iron deficiency anemia and data supporting this position have been reported by Axtrup,13 Brenner,14 Freudenberg,15 and by Lahey and co-workers,9 as well as by the previously cited authors.§Infants maintained on nearly exclusive milk diets are likely to develop a microcytic, hypochromic anemia typical of iron deficiency and closely resembling the anemia produced in swine by copper-deficient diets.‖

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