Blood destruction due to a single injury, as by sodium oleate, or acting through a short period of time, as by toluylenediamine or hemolytic immune serum, is not characterized, in the absence of hemoglobinuria, by an increased elimination of iron in the urine. This holds, not only for the evanescent injury caused by sodium oleate, but also for the severe type caused by hemolytic immune serum, in which a progressive destruction of the blood may persist for 2 weeks or more with constant evidence of the disintegration of erythrocytes as shown by bile pigment in the urine. This finding is in accord with previous investigations of anemia in both man and animals.
Likewise, no striking increase is evident, under such circumstances, in the percentage of iron excreted in the feces. The total amount of iron in the feces has been notably increased in two experiments with hemolytic serum, but as the percentage was not appreciably altered, the difference depends presumably on variations in the bulk of feces rather than upon increased elimination.
This evidence of the power of the body to conserve the iron rephagocytosis is negligible, is to be fragmented one by one, while still circulating, to a fine, hemoglobin-containing dust. The cell fragments are rapidly removed from the blood, but their ultimate fate remains to be determined. The facts indicate that they are removed from the blood by the spleen, and under exceptional conditions, by the bone marrow.