Iron overload and allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation.
Iron overload is frequently observed in patients with hematologic diseases before and after allogeneic stem-cell transplantation because they usually receive multiple red blood cell transfusions. Elevated pretransplant serum ferritin levels, which are widely used as indicators of body iron status, are significantly associated with a lower overall survival rate and a higher incidence of treatment-related complications; for example, infections and hepatic veno-occlusive disease. As serum ferritin levels are affected, not only by iron loading but also by inflammation, imaging techniques to quantify tissue iron levels have been developed, for example, quantitative MRI using the transverse magnetic relaxation rate, and superconducting quantum interference devices. Iron chelators, such as deferasirox, a new oral iron-chelating agent, reduce iron load in transfusion-dependent patients. Iron-chelating therapy before and/or after transplantation is a promising strategy to improve the clinical outcomes of transplant patients with iron overload. However, further research is needed to prove the direct relationship between iron overload and adverse outcomes, as well as to determine the effects of treatment for iron overload on outcomes of allogeneic stem-cell transplantation.
Kanda, J; Kawabata, H; Chao, NJ
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