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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 1999 June;39(2):140-6

Copyright © 1999 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Can reticulocyte parameters be of use in detecting iron deficient erythropoiesis in female athletes?

Ashenden M. J. 2, Pyne D. B. 1, Parisotto R. 1, Dobson G. P. 2, Hahn A. G. 1

1 Department of Physiology and Applied Nutrition, Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra; 2 Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, James Cook, University of Nth Qld., Townsville, Australia


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Background. The pur­pose of ­this ­study was to inves­ti­gate wheth­er mon­i­tor­ing reti­cu­lo­cyte pro­files, ­which are ­known to ­respond to ­iron ­store deple­tion in sed­en­tary pop­u­la­tions, ­could ­also be util­ised ­with intense­ly train­ing ath­letes.
Methods. A ret­ro­spec­tive ­study of ­blood sam­ples ­from 134 nation­al lev­el ath­letes (61 ­males, 73 ­females) at the Australian Institute of Sport ­were ana­lysed, ­from ­which ref­er­ence rang­es ­were cal­cu­lat­ed. To ascer­tain the stabil­ity of reti­cu­lo­cyte pro­files dur­ing peri­ods of ­intense phys­i­cal train­ing, the ­intra-indi­vid­u­al vari­a­tion of ­these param­e­ters in 12 ­iron-­replete ­female ath­letes ­over a ­four ­month peri­od of train­ing was doc­u­ment­ed. The pre­ci­sion ­with ­which the ana­lyz­er meas­ured ­these param­e­ters was ­also deter­mined ­using dupli­cate sam­ples ­from 37 ­female ath­letes. To estab­lish wheth­er reti­cu­lo­cyte param­e­ters ­were sen­si­tive to ­iron defi­cient eryth­ro­poie­sis in ath­letes, reti­cu­lo­cyte pro­files of ­five ­female ath­letes diag­nosed by med­i­cal per­son­nel as hav­ing deplet­ed ­iron ­stores ­were com­pared ­before and ­after ­iron ther­a­py to sev­en con­trols.
Results. Corpuscular hemo­glo­bin con­cen­tra­tion ­mean (CHCMr) and ­mean cor­pus­cu­lar vol­ume (MCVr) ­showed lit­tle vari­a­tion ­over ­time in ­iron-­replete ­females, ­with 95% of all fluc­tu­a­tions ­being with­in 5.8% and 4.3% of orig­i­nal val­ues, respec­tive­ly. Iron sup­ple­men­ta­tion in ath­letes ­with deplet­ed ­iron ­stores elic­it­ed an ­increase in CHCMr (p=0.01), and a ­decrease in the dis­tri­bu­tions of reti­cu­lo­cyte vol­ume (RDWr, p=0.01) and ­cell hemo­glo­bin con­cen­tra­tion (HDWr, p<0.01). The ­ratios of reti­cu­lo­cyte to ­mature ­cell MCV (p<0.01) and ­CHCM (p<0.01) ­also ­changed fol­low­ing ­iron ther­a­py. No ­such chang­es ­occurred in non-sup­ple­ment­ed con­trols ­with nor­mal ­iron ­stores.
Conclusions. These ­data ­lend sup­port to the the­sis ­that mon­i­tor­ing of reti­cu­lo­cyte param­e­ters can be of use in detect­ing ­iron defi­cient eryth­ro­poie­sis in ­female ath­letes.

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