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Anemia in Hyperthyroidism

RICHARD S. RIVLIN, M.D.; and HENRY N. WAGNER JR., M.D.
Ann Intern Med. 1969;70(3):507-516. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-70-3-507
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SUMMARY:

In four hyperthyroid patients with anemia measurements of ferrokinetics have been conducted both before and after antithyroid therapy. These findings were then compared with the results of similar measurements in a "control" group of five hyperthyroid patients who were not anemic. The mean red cell survival recorded in the two groups did not differ. In the "control" hyperthyroid group the turnover of iron was faster and its degree of incorporation into circulating erythrocytes more complete than normal; both decreased toward normal after successful antithyroid therapy. In contrast, in the anemic patients utilization of iron was less complete than normal and increased rather than decreased after antithyroid therapy. These data suggest that in certain hyperthyroid patients who develop anemia there may be an impairment in the utilization of iron. Anemia was found most often in patients with hyperthyroidism of unusual severity or prolonged duration. The underlying mechanisms cannot yet be described with certainty.

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