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Studies on iron metabolism in sickle cell anaemia, sickle cell haemoglobin C disease, and haemoglobin C disease using a large volume liquid scintillation counter
  1. Bela Ringelhann,
  2. Felix Konotey-Ahulu,
  3. Silas R. A. Dodu
  1. Department of Chemical Pathology, Ghana Medical School, Accra
  2. Department of Internal Medicine, Ghana Medical School, Accra


    Iron absorption as measured by a faecal recovery method in young adult males living in a tropical zone was high, even in the absence of anaemia. There was an inverse relation between the iron absorption and the packed cell volume. The highest absorption was found in sickle cell anaemia patients, where the packed cell volume is the lowest. The incorporation of iron was also the fastest and greatest in this group. In the controls the iron absorbed accumulated in the marrow and the spleen on the first day; in the sickle cell anaemia group the spleen has an insignificant role in iron storage. The growing radioactivity in the liver parallels that of the heart in the group of sickle cell anaemia patients; however, it remains low in the spleen in the same group, implying a diminution of splenic blood flow. In the sickle cell haemoglobin C and the haemoglobin C patients, the liver and spleen have an intermediate position between that of the sickle cell anaemia group and the control group.

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