Measurements of erythropoietin titer and serum iron turnover were carried out in rabbits 48 hours after the induction of normovolemic anemias and polycythemias. Although viscosity studies of blood at various hematocrits indicate that the oxygen flow to the tissues is impaired both in anemia and polycythemia, only anemias were found to be associated with production of erythropoietin and with accelerated serum iron turnover. It was concluded that if polycythemia with its associated high viscosity leads to tissue hypoxia, this tissue hypoxia will not cause production of erythropoietin.

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