The rate of red cell formation and the red cell life span were determined in six adult patients with acute myelogenous leukemia by the use of Fe59, Cr51 and glycine-2-C14. One patient with acute monocytic leukemia was studied with Fe59 alone.
Erythropoiesis was normal or increased in two patients, deficient in four patients and absent in one. The data indicate that in the cases of deficient erythropoiesis a decreased number of red cells were produced in the marrow, but that they were released at a rapid rate.
The red cell life span appeared to be normal in one patient, short but finite in four patients, and short owing to random destruction in one patient. One study did not include the measurement of red cell life span.
The liver removed an abnormally large proportion of the plasma iron when marrow erythropoiesis was deficient.
The bone marrow examination may be an unreliable indicator of the rate of erythropoiesis.