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Transfusion. 2001 Jun;41(6):828-31.

HFE mutations do not account for transfusional iron overload in patients with acute myeloid leukemia.

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Department of Anatomy, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.



Hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) is a HFE gene-linked disorder affecting 1 of 200 to 400 persons in white populations. It has been proposed that patients with a hematologic malignancy who are receiving frequent RBC transfusions should be screened for HFE mutations. This would identify C282Y homozygotes, who have a high risk of developing severe iron overload.


DNA samples from 128 controls and 23 adult long-term survivors of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) treated at the Oulu University Hospital (Oulu, Finland) from 1987 to 2000 were examined for the presence of the C282Y and H63D mutations in HFE. All the patients were severely iron-overloaded, as determined from high serum ferritin values and/or increased storage iron in bone marrow. Phlebotomies were performed in five patients because of the symptoms of iron overload. DNA extracted from the blood was used to amplify HFE gene fragments by the PCR method, after which the amplification products were digested with restriction endonucleases SnaB I and Bcl I, and the restriction fragments were analyzed on agarose gels.


No chromosomes with the C282Y mutation were found among the AML patients, and 5 patients (21.7%) were heterozygous for the H63D mutation. In the control group, 13 persons (10.2%) were heterozygous for the C282Y mutation and 26 (20.3%) for the H63D mutation, including 3 C282Y/H63D double heterozygotes.


HFE mutations do not account for the harmful iron overload that develops in AML patients who receive large quantities of RBC concentrates after intensive chemotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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