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Table 3

Stages of copper deficiency and its clinical effects in humans

Type of copper deficiencyCp levelaClinical manifestations
% Baseline CpAbsolute Cp level (mg/dl)
Chemical 10–30 5–15 Noneb 
 (target range) (target range) Probable inhibition of tumor angiogenesis 
Clinical    
Mild <10% <5 Mild anemia, Hct ∼80% of baseline 
   Mild neutropenia 
Moderate <10% <5 Moderate anemia, leukopenia, possibly symptomatic 
Severe <10% <5 Severe bone marrow depression, diarrhea, cardiac arrhythmias may occur rarely, peripheral neuropathyc 
   In children, inhibition of epiphyseal bone growth 
Type of copper deficiencyCp levelaClinical manifestations
% Baseline CpAbsolute Cp level (mg/dl)
Chemical 10–30 5–15 Noneb 
 (target range) (target range) Probable inhibition of tumor angiogenesis 
Clinical    
Mild <10% <5 Mild anemia, Hct ∼80% of baseline 
   Mild neutropenia 
Moderate <10% <5 Moderate anemia, leukopenia, possibly symptomatic 
Severe <10% <5 Severe bone marrow depression, diarrhea, cardiac arrhythmias may occur rarely, peripheral neuropathyc 
   In children, inhibition of epiphyseal bone growth 
a

Normal serum Cp levels are 20–35 mg/dl. Cp levels in cancer patients are elevated (20–75 mg/dl).

b

Bone marrow effects such as anemia and/or leukopenia may occur if the induction of copper deficiency is very rapid, as with high doses of TM, at higher levels of Cp than shown here.

c

In general, signs and symptoms other than bone marrow depression require severe copper deficiency to have been present for weeks to months.

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