Paul K. Schick, MD

Professor of Medicine, Emeritus, Thomas Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia
Research Professor, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia
Adjunct Clinical Professor, Lankenau Hospital (LIMR), Wynnewood, PA

This case was reviewed and updated in September 2012 by Dr. Peter Marks and members of the Teaching Cases Subcommittee.

Copyright of the American Society of Hematology, 2006. ISSN: 1931-6860.


There are several compartments of iron in normal individuals:
  • Hemoglobin in circulating erythrocytes
  • Iron stores in the reticuloendothelial system
  • Myoglobin
  • Serum iron
  • Tissue stores (primariy in the liver)
Select True or False for each statement about iron compartments.

The loss of 4 pints of blood will deplete iron stores.
Most of the iron in healthy males is sequestered in an iron storage compartment.
Significant depletion of iron stores is always associated with microcytosis.
Esophageal webbing can be an early sign of iron deficiency.

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