Papers And Originals

Iron Metabolism in Patients Undergoing Regular Dialysis Therapy

Br Med J 1971; 1 doi: (Published 27 March 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;1:695
  1. B. Brozovich,
  2. W. R. Cattell,
  3. M. F. Cottrall,
  4. M. M. Gwyther,
  5. J. M. McMillan,
  6. J. S. Malpas,
  7. A. Salsbury,
  8. N. G. Trott


    Thirteen patients with chronic renal failure maintained on regular renal dialysis were studied. Seven proved to have iron deficiency on the basis of marrow iron studies, reticulocyte iron uptake, and saturation of the serum iron-binding capacity. They absorbed iron when given it by mouth and were able to utilize it for haemoglobin formation. Iron-deficient patients given 600 mg of ferrous sulphate daily for three months showed an increase in haemoglobin, but the failure to replace stores of iron is probably related to their relatively limited ability to absorb iron and the variable but sometimes considerable blood loss occurring with each dialysis.

    The loss may be occult, and prolonged iron therapy may be required. This is most safely achieved by giving iron by mouth.