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

Iron-chelation therapy with oral deferipronein patients with thalassemia major.

BACKGROUND. To determine whether the orally active iron chelator deferiprone (1,2-dimethyl-3-hydroxy-pyridin-4-one) is efficacious in the treatment of iron overload in patients with thalassemia major, we conducted a prospective trial of deferiprone in 21 patients unable or unwilling to use standard chelation therapy with parenteral deferoxamine. METHODS. Hepatic iron stores were determined yearly by chemical analysis of liver-biopsy specimens or magnetic-susceptibility measurements. Detailed clinical and laboratory studies were used to monitor safety and compliance. RESULTS. The patients received deferiprone therapy for a mean (+/-SE) of 3.1 +/- 0.3 years. Ten patients in whom previous chelation therapy with deferoxamine had been ineffective had initial hepatic iron concentrations of at least 80 mumol per gram of liver, wet weight -- values associated with complications of iron overload. Hepatic iron concentrations decreased in all 10 patients, from 125.3 +/- 11.5 to 60.3 +/- 9.6 mumol per gram (P < 0.005), with values that were less than 80 mumol per gram in 8 of the 10 patients (P < 0.005). In all 11 patients in whom deferoxamine therapy had previously been effective, deferiprone maintained hepatic iron concentrations below 80 mumol of iron per gram. CONCLUSIONS. Oral deferiprone induces sustained decreases in body iron to concentrations compatible with the avoidance of complications from iron overload. The risk of agranulocytosis associated with deferiprone may restrict its administration to patients who are unable or unwilling to use deferoxamine.[1]


  1. Iron-chelation therapy with oral deferipronein patients with thalassemia major. Olivieri, N.F., Brittenham, G.M., Matsui, D., Berkovitch, M., Blendis, L.M., Cameron, R.G., McClelland, R.A., Liu, P.P., Templeton, D.M., Koren, G. N. Engl. J. Med. (1995) [Pubmed]
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