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August 1958

Studies on Copper Metabolism: XXIV. Hypocupremia in Infancy

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1958;96(2):148-158. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1958.02060060150004

Hypocupremia has been observed occasionally in patients with severe microcytic hypochromic anemia due to iron deficiency,1-5 but as a rule the serum copper is increased in iron deficiency.1,6 It was, therefore, of interest when Sturgeon and Brubaker7; Ulstrom, Smith and Heimlich,8 and Lahey9 described a syndrome characterized by hypocupremia, hypoferremia, hypoproteinemia, edema, and hypochromic microcytic anemia in a total of 19 infants and children.

Sturgeon and Brubaker7 treated one of their patients with copper and noted a prompt increase in serum copper but no increase in hemoglobin, reticulocytes, or serum proteins. Lahey9 made a similar observation in two of his patients. In addition, Lahey observed that the administration of iron alone was followed by a prompt reticulocystosis, alleviation of anemia, and an increase in serum proteins but no increase in serum copper. The diets of the patients studied by Sturgeon and Brubaker and