What is the global prevalence of transfusion-induced iron overload?

Updated: May 07, 2021
  • Author: Geneva E Guarin, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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In a Japanese cohort of transfusion-dependent patients with myelodysplastic syndrome and aplastic anemia, one third of all deaths were attributable to iron overload (97% of the deceased had a serum ferritin >1000 ng/mL). Cardiac failure was responsible for 24% and liver failure for 7% of all deaths. On average, each patient was transfused with more than 60 units of red blood cells per year. [18]

In a Greek population of thalassemia major patients who were transfusion dependent, 51% had moderate (defined as serum ferritin > 2000 mcg/L) to severe iron overload (defined as serum ferritin > 4000 mcg/L). [19]

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