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Hereditary Hemochromatosis

An Algorithmic Approach to Diagnosis


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Normal Iron Absorption and Distribution

Slide 3

January 2009

Iron is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract; typically 1‑2 mgs of iron are absorbed per day. Iron absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract enters the plasma pool. Since gastrointestinal nutrients are absorbed into the hepatic vein, the plasma pool contents cycle through the liver before entering the circulation. Bone marrow absorbs iron from the plasma pool to facilitate creation of erythrocytes. Approximately 20 mg of iron becomes integration into erythrocytes per day. Erythrocytes circulate for approximately 120 days; at the end of their lifetime,  they are phagocytized by macrocytic cells; when these cells enter the liver, they are known as Kupfer cells.

Normal Iron Absorption


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