Sodium, potassium, water, and the mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration were determined in the packed erythrocytes of children with severe thalassaemia. The concentration of sodium in the packed red cells was higher than normal in a significant proportion of children with thalassaemia whereas potassium in the packed cells and sodium and potassium in the plasma were normal.
On average, the cell water content was a little higher and the mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration a little lower than normal.
The cation concentrations in the packed cells of thalassaemia are compared with those in other anaemias. Similarities are pointed out between the sodium concentrations in the packed cells of thalassaemia and those from the foetus and children suffering from malnutrition.
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