VIRGIL F. FAIRBANKS, M.D., F.A.C.P.
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In the complete cycle of iron metabolism, iron flows from transferrin in plasma to the maturing normoblast in the bone marrow and thence into hemoglobin, in which form it circulates in the vascular system for about 4 months. The aged erythrocyte is then phagocytized by cells of the reticuloendothelial system (RES), the hemoglobin molecule is destroyed, and the iron is released. The iron may then return to transferrin in plasma to resume the cycle or it may be retained in storage form (as ferritin or hemosiderin) in the reticuloendothelial system. Iron metabolism thus involves four major compartments: plasma (transferrin), erythroid
FAIRBANKS VF. Iron Kinetics in Man: New Studies with Mouse Hemoglobin. Ann Intern Med. 1973;79:271–272. doi: https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-79-2-271
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1973;79(2):271-272.
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