Four patients with PNH were described who developed accelerated activity of their disease after the intramuscular administration of iron-dextran for treatment of iron deficiency. This was considered to reflect a unique effect of iron on PNH erythrocytes. It was postulated that this effect resulted from cell damage caused by iron catalyzed peroxidation of erythrocyte lipids, a reaction to which PNH erythrocytes could be unusually susceptible by virtue of an increased content of unsaturated fatty acids or pro-oxidants or decreased content of antioxidants.

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