Secondary hemochromatosis as a long-term complication of the treatment of hematologic malignancies
Clinical Trials as Topic
The increased cure rate of hematologic malignancies including the use of bone marrow transplantation has focused attention on the chronic toxicity and quality of life of the survivors. We have observed five patients who have been diagnosed with clinically significant iron overload, presumably due to packed red blood cell transfusions, >/=12 months after transplant for a hematologic malignancy. In these patients, there is no history of veno-occlusive disease or family history of hemochromatosis. The allotransplant patient has been free of chronic graft versus host disease. Family screening has been negative. No patient developed clinically significant endocrinopathy, arthropathy, or cardiac disease. The patients have been treated with phlebotomy to bring the transferrin saturation and ferritin levels to normal. The long-term follow-up of patients treated for a hematologic malignancy should include analysis of hepatitis C virus and iron status. This may prevent the development of clinically significant chronic liver disease and possibly malignancy.