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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Reassessment of the use of desferrioxamine B in iron overload.

Treatment of transfusion-induced iron overload by daily intramuscular injection of the chelator desferrioxamine has not produced impressive urinary iron excretion. We attempted to augment net iron excretion by altering both the route and quantity of chelator administered. Two ascorbic acid-replete patients excreted a mean of 14.5 mg of iron per 24 hours after a single intramuscular injection of 750 mg of desferrioxamine. Excretion increased to a mean of 44.9 mg when this dose was delivered by a continuous 24-hour intravenous infusion. When the intravenous dose of chelator was increased incrementally to as high as 16,000 mg per 24 hours, iron excretion increased up to 180 mg per day. At these high-dose levels, efficiency of binding of iron to chelator was compromised. Constant exposure of the labile iron pool to a chelating agent markedly enhances net iron excretion in splenectomized transfusion-dependent patients.[1]


  1. Reassessment of the use of desferrioxamine B in iron overload. Propper, R.D., Shurin, S.B., Nathan, D.G. N. Engl. J. Med. (1976) [Pubmed]
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