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J Nutr. 1984 Apr;114(4):677-81.

Serum ferritin as a measure of stored iron in horses.


Occasionally, horses are given large amounts of iron to improve performance. Although iron deficiency could limit erythrocyte production and other functions related to nonhematological tissues, it probably only occurs in blood loss. We have developed an enzyme immunoassay for ferritin in equine sera and evaluated its relationship to iron stored in liver and spleen. Serum ferritin correlated significantly (P less than 0.0001) with the concentration of nonheme iron in the liver and spleen. It increased following iron therapy and decreased after phlebotomy. We conclude that serum ferritin provides a good index of hepatic and splenic iron and can be used to evaluate iron storage in horses.

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