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scientific articles

How we manage iron overload in sickle cell patients

key information

source: British Journal of Haematology

year: 2017

authors: Coates TD, Wood JC


Blood transfusion plays a prominent role in the management of patients with sickle cell disease (SCD), but causes significant iron overload. As transfusions are used to treat the severe complications of SCD, it remains difficult to distinguish whether organ damage is a consequence of iron overload or is due to the complications treated by transfusion. Better management has resulted in increased survival, but prolonged exposure to iron puts SCD patients at greater risk for iron-related complications that should be treated. The success of chelation therapy is dominated by patient adherence to prescribed treatment; thus, adjustment of drug regimens to increase adherence to treatment is critical. This review will discuss the current biology of iron homeostasis in patients with SCD and how this informs our clinical approach to treatment. We will present the clinical approach to treatment of iron overload at our centre using serial assessment of organ iron by magnetic resonance imaging.

organization: Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California

DOI: 10.1111/bjh.14575

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