Sensitivity of Hæmoglobin to Oxidation in Various Conditions


WHEN intact red cells are treated with weak solutions of sodium nitrite in isotonic saline, or hæmolysed red cell suspensions are treated with weak solutions of potassium ferricyanide, the red colour changes to brown as the oxyhæmoglobin is oxidized to methæmoglobin. Infants have long been known to be particularly sensitive to this change1–3 ; but it has only recently been shown3,4 that this increased sensitivity is also present in children of both sexes up to the age of puberty.

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  1. 1

    Betke, K., Naturwiss., 39, 481 (1952).

  2. 2

    Kunzer, W., Ambs, E., and Schneider, D., Klin. Wschr., 31, 617 (1953).

  3. 3

    Metcalf, W. K., M.D. thesis, University of Bristol (1960).

  4. 4

    Keohane, K. W., and Metcalf, W. K., Phys. in Med. and Biol., 5, 27 (1960).

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METCALF, W. Sensitivity of Hæmoglobin to Oxidation in Various Conditions. Nature 190, 543 (1961).

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