Iron-deficiency anemia is still the most prevalent anemia occurring in infancy, despite modern knowledge concerning iron metabolism and the causation of this deficiency state. The premature infant is extremely vulnerable to iron deficiency because his total body hemoglobin available for use is smaller and his growth rate is usually greater than that of the full-term infant. Recently an iron-dextran complex has been found to be effective in supplying the human organism parenterally with large quantities of iron for hemoglobin synthesis. The preparation1 is a third as toxic in mice as saccharated iron oxide solutions. It has been used widely for the treatment of iron deficiency of children2-4 and adults.5,6 It was felt worth while to evaluate its use in the prevention of the late (iron-deficiency) anemia of prematurity.
This report concerns observations of two groups of infants born prematurely who were examined hematologically until one year of