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

Treatment of iron overload in adults with continuous parenteral desferrioxamine.

Adult patients with transfusional hemosiderosis were given ascorbic acid and treated with the iron chelator, desferrioxamine B. The drug was administered by continuous subcutaneous or intravenous infusions using a light weight portable constant infusion device. On this regimen, four of the five patients studied were able to excrete significant amounts of iron (greater than 35 mg/da) when receiving a daily desferrioxamine dose of 1.5 to 2.2 g. Continuous subcutaneous infusion was well tolerated and about 80 per cent as effective as intravenous therapy in chelating iron. The number of prior transfusions, the hepatic iron content and the serum ferritin levels appear to be useful in predicting which patients will respond to iron chelation therapy, especially if there is little bone marrow erythropoietic activity. One patient with ineffective erythropoiesis did not have significantly increased hepatic iron stores but responded to the administration of desferrioxamine. Continuous subcutaneously administered desferrioxamine may prove to be adaptable for long-term outpatient therapy, allowing patients with ongoing transfusion requirements to go into negative iron balance. Long-term studies will be needed to demonstrate reversal of endocrine, hepatic and cardiac dysfunction secondary to iron deposition in these patients.[1]


  1. Treatment of iron overload in adults with continuous parenteral desferrioxamine. Cooper, B., Bunn, H.F., Propper, R.D., Nathan, D.G., Rosenthal, D.S., Moloney, W.C. Am. J. Med. (1977) [Pubmed]
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