Erythroid marrow function in anemic patients

M. Cazzola, P. Pootrakul, H. A. Huebers, M. Eng, J. Eschbach, C. A. Finch

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Erythropoietic activity is known to be closely associated with marrow iron uptake. A modification of the standard measure of plasma iron turnover has been developed in which erythron transferrin uptake (ETU) rather than iron uptake has been calculated. The ETU has the advantage of providing a parameter of erythroid marrow activity independent of change produced by plasma iron and transferrin saturation. Measurements in 80 patients with anemia were compared to the normal value of 60 ± 12 μmol/L whole blood/d. The mean ETU for ten patients with severe aplastic anemia and for six patients with pure red-cell aplasia were 12 ± 8 and 12 ± 11 μmol/L whole blood/d, respectively. In ten transfusion-dependent patients with renal failure under dialysis therapy, the mean value was 35 ± 11, while ten other dialyzed patients who were transfusion independent had a mean ETU of 73 ± 21 μmol/L whole blood/d. Sixteen patients with hemolytic anemia had an average ETU of 400 ± 130, while 28 patients with ineffective erythropoiesis had a mean value of 474 ± 147 μmol/L whole blood/d. While patients with hypoproliferative anemia showed no relation between the severity of anemia and ETU, those with hyperproliferative erythroid marrow showed increasing values as the anemia became more severe. Sequential measurements in patients with aplastic anemia under treatment and in thalassemic patients under transfusion therapy showed the value of this measurement in monitoring the effects of treatment on erythroid marrow activity. It is concluded that the measurement of ETU provides a more direct ferrokinetic evaluation of erythroid activity in anemic states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-301
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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