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scientific articles

Therapeutic phlebotomy is safe in children with sickle cell anaemia and can be effective treatment for transfusional iron overload

key information

source: British Journal of Haematology

year: 2015

authors: Aygun B, Mortier NA, Kesler K, Lockhart A, Schultz WH, Cohen AR, Alvarez O, Rogers ZR, Kwiatkowski JL, Miller ST, Sylvestre P, Iyer R, Lane PA, Ware RE


Serial phlebotomy was performed on sixty children with sickle cell anaemia, stroke and transfusional iron overload randomized to hydroxycarbamide in the Stroke With Transfusions Changing to Hydroxyurea trial. There were 927 phlebotomy procedures with only 33 adverse events, all of which were grade 2. Among 23 children completing 30 months of study treatment, the net iron balance was favourable (-8·7 mg Fe/kg) with significant decrease in ferritin, although liver iron concentration remained unchanged. Therapeutic phlebotomy was safe and well-tolerated, with net iron removal in most children who completed 30 months of protocol-directed treatment.

organization: Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY

DOI: 10.1111/bjh.13280

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