Hair iron content: possible marker to complement monitoring therapy of iron deficiency in patients with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases?

easurements of the concentrations of iron in hair from 10 patients with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases and from 10 healthy controls showed that the iron concentrations were significantly(p<0.05) lower in patients before iron intake than in controls. Three weeks after beginning iron treatment, the hair iron concentrations were found to be significantly correlated (r=0.68; p<0.05) to reticulocyte counts. Changes in the hair iron concentrations of the markers most commonly used to diagnose and monitor iron deficiency. The results suggest that quantification of hair iron may be useful to complement evaluations of the body iron status.

Bisse E, Renner F, Sussmann S, Schoelmerich J, Wieland H. Clin Chem 1996;42:1270-74.