Acute intestinal iron intoxication was produced in rabbits and the levels of serum were correlated with changes in blood coagulation.
Acute intestinal iron intoxication resulted in a prolongation of the coagulation time or a complete absence of coagulation, thrombocytopenia, hypoprothrombinemia, and qualitative changes in the fibrinogen. Clot retraction was decreased to absent.
The most marked defect occurred in fibrinogen. In the postiron period the fibrin clot was rust-colored, friable, and fragmented easily. The iron content of the fibrin was tremendous. The physiologic activity of the fibrinogen was decreased and coagulation prolonged.
Fibrinolytic studies revealed no increase in the lysis of the fibrin.
The decrease in the physiologic activity of the fibrinogen frequently produced a hemorrhagic level of prothrombin as measured by the one-stage method. The prothrombin as measured by the two-stage method, although decreased, was not in the hemorrhagic zone. Modification of the one-stage method, correlated with the prothrombin values as determined by the two-stage technic, revealed a defect in both prothrombin and fibrinogen.