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Clin Adv Hematol Oncol. 2012 Jun;10(6):363-5.

Prevalence of iron overload in pediatric oncology patients after blood transfusion.

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University of North Dakota, Fargo, North Dakota 55102, USA.



Studies evaluating the prevalence of iron overload and its relationship to blood transfusion in pediatric oncology patients are limited.


Medical records of all pediatric oncology patients treated at Roger Maris Cancer Center (Fargo, North Dakota) were screened. Subjects with measurements of serum ferritin levels after completion of therapy (N=52) were further evaluated.


Of the total study population, 37 patients (71.2%) underwent red blood cell (RBC) transfusion and 15 patients (28.8%) did not. Among the transfused patients, 20 patients (54%) had elevated serum ferritin values greater than 250 ng/mL. Among the patients who did not undergo blood transfusion, only 1 patient (6.6%) had an elevated serum ferritin value (P<.01; Fischer exact test). None of the nontransfused patients had ferritin levels greater than 501 ng/mL.


This study demonstrated that ferritin levels were more likely to be elevated in transfused patients than nontransfused patients. The number of subjects in this study was limited, and further prospective studies are needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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