Determination of iron to phosphorus ratios of iron storage compounds in patients with iron overload: A chemical and electron probe X-ray microanalysis

Authors

  • Maud I. Cleton,

    1. Institute of Pathology, Electron Microscopy Unit, University of Utrecht and Department of Hematology and Internal Medicine, University Hospital, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    2. Centre for Analytical Electron Microscopy, Laboratory for Electron Microscopy, University of Leiden, Leiden, The Netherlands
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  • Erik J. Frenkel,

    1. Institute of Pathology, Electron Microscopy Unit, University of Utrecht and Department of Hematology and Internal Medicine, University Hospital, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    2. Centre for Analytical Electron Microscopy, Laboratory for Electron Microscopy, University of Leiden, Leiden, The Netherlands
    Current affiliation:
    1. Medizinisch Chemisches Institut, Universität Bern, Bern, Switzerland
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  • Willem C. de Bruijn,

    1. Institute of Pathology, Electron Microscopy Unit, University of Utrecht and Department of Hematology and Internal Medicine, University Hospital, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    2. Centre for Analytical Electron Microscopy, Laboratory for Electron Microscopy, University of Leiden, Leiden, The Netherlands
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  • Joannes J. M. Marx M.D.

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Pathology, Electron Microscopy Unit, University of Utrecht and Department of Hematology and Internal Medicine, University Hospital, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    2. Centre for Analytical Electron Microscopy, Laboratory for Electron Microscopy, University of Leiden, Leiden, The Netherlands
    • Department of Haematology, University Hospital Utrecht, P.O. Box 16250, 3500 CG Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Abstract

The amounts of phosphorus and iron in various isolated ferritin preparations were investigated by: (i) chemical analysis on ferritin samples and (ii) electron probe X-ray microanalysis on ferritin particles from the same preparations. A high correlation was found between iron to phosphorus ratios obtained by both methods.

Further investigation by electron probe X-ray microanalysis on lysosomes of hepatic cells of patients with idiopathic and secondary hemochromatosis revealed lysosomal iron to phosphorus ratios which were very similar in all parenchymal cells but different from ratios obtained in Kupffer cells. Lysosomal iron to phosphorus ratios in hepatocytes did not change after intensive phlebotomy treatment. It is postulated therefore that, during phlebotomy, iron and phosphorus are concomitantly lost from the hepatic lysosomes.

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