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August 1958

Studies on Copper Metabolism: XXIV. Hypocupremia in Infancy

Author Affiliations

Salt Lake City
From the Department of Medicine, University of Utah College of Medicine. John S. McEachern Fellow, Canadian Cancer Society (Dr. Zipursky) and Medical Research Fellow, Canadian National Research Council (Dr. Dempsey).

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

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