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Ann Hematol. 2011 Jan;90(1):1-10. doi: 10.1007/s00277-010-1091-1. Epub 2010 Oct 12.

Iron overload in MDS-pathophysiology, diagnosis, and complications.

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Department of Hematology, Oncology and Clinical Immunology, Heinrich-Heine-University, Mooren Str. 5, 40225, Düsseldorf, Germany.


Many patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) become dependent on blood transfusions and develop transfusional iron overload, which is exacerbated by increased absorption of dietary iron in response to ineffective erythropoiesis. However, it is uncertain whether there is an association among iron accumulation, clinical complications, and decreased likelihood of survival in MDS patients. Here, we discuss our current understanding of the effects of transfusion dependency and iron overload in MDS, indicate our knowledge gaps, and suggest that particular emphasis should be placed on further characterizing the role of redox-active forms of labile iron, which may be as important as the total iron burden.

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