How many drug transfusions are needed to cause 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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Answer

The exact number of blood transfusions that lead to significant iron overload varies with the patient's underlying disease and the duration of their transfusion dependence. Hepatitis C is prevalent in patients who undergo long-term transfusions (>35% of sickle cell patients), especially those who received transfusions before screening began. Transfusion-induced iron overload superimposed on hepatitis C would accelerate the development of cirrhosis. [43]


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