Calculation of Iron Turnover in Erythrocytes by Means of 51Cr Labelling

  • U. Wellner
Conference paper


The normal lifespan of human erythrocytes is 100–120 days. A “hemolytic index” is defined, having a value of zero when all erythrocytes in the blood attain the age of 110 days. All earlier losses of potential erythrocyte populations are treated as hemolytic losses. Labelling red cells with 51Cr enables the hemolytic index γ to be calculated from the apparent erythrocyte half-life by an equation which includes allowance for “early loss” and 51Cr elution after application. The overall exchange rate of red cells can be calculated from γ and the blood volume, also determined by chromium labelling. It is then only necessary to determine the hemoglobin content of the blood in order to calculate the iron turnover in erythrocytes in mg/day.


Early Loss Hemolytic Index Iron Turnover Radioactive Chromium 51Cr Labelling 
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Die Bestimmung des Erythrozyteneisenumsatzes mit Hilfe 51Cr-markierter Erythrozyten


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag, Berlin · Heidelberg 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Wellner
    • 1
  1. 1.Nuklearmedizinische Abteilungder Universitätskliniken KölnGermany

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