METABOLISM OF IRON IN DISEASES OF THE LIVER.
Annual rept. 1 Oct 61-1 Oct 63,
TUFTS UNIV BOSTON MASS SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
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Studies of the mechanism and kinetics of iron absorption in the rat by the measurement of body radioactivity after intragastric administration of Fe59 and in the dog by infusion of Fe59 into surgically isolated segments of jejunum indicate that there are hyperbolic relationships between amount of iron absorbed and amount of iron given and also between rate of absorption and concentration of iron in the intestinal lumen. Although it was not possible to saturate the iron absorbing apparatus in these ways, absorption of iron from small intragastric doses was transiently blocked by the prior administration of large doses in rats. Acute alteration of reticuloendothelial system functional activity did not influence absorption of iron in rats. By means of a 4 lumen 2 ballon intestinal tube to isolate an intestinal segment it was possible both to measure rate of iron absorption in man and to study the role of intraluminal factors. Mean rate of iron absorption of patients with cirrhosis was greater than that of normal volunteer prisoners. Both intra- and extraluminal factors influenced this enhanced iron absorption in patients with liver disease. Author