The case of a 59 year old white man who had chronic malabsorption and selective IgA deficiency with severe iron deficiency is reported. In addition, he was deficient in vitamin E and selenium, important antioxidants which protect against lipid peroxidation. He was intolerant of oral iron and when treated with iron-dextran developed symptoms suggestive of polymyositis with evidence of rhabdomyolysis. It is suggested that free iron within iron-dextran activated free radicals, initiating lipid peroxidation and leading to polymyositis, rhabdomyolysis, and myoglobulinuria.
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