Ferrokinetic measurements have proved useful because of the dominant role of the erythron in tissue iron uptake. Detailed measurements of the plasma iron disappearance curve coupled with in vivo counting have defined the major pathways of iron utilization and early refluxes of iron into plasma. Recent studies have disclosed two separate plasma kinetic pools consisting of mono- and diferric transferrin, and have demonstrated the effect of their relative abundance on tissue iron uptake. Allowance for the amount of each has made possible the calculation of iron-bearing transferrin uptake, which is independent of plasma iron concentration as long as receptors are saturated. This refinement permits the measurement of functional erythron transferrin receptors, and thereby the relative number of immature erythroid cells.

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