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Leuk Lymphoma. 2013 Aug;54(8):1719-23. doi: 10.3109/10428194.2012.750724. Epub 2012 Dec 22.

Trends in transfusion burden among long-term survivors of childhood hematological malignancies.

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Department of Hematology, St. Jude Children ’ s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105-3678, USA.


The risk from cumulative erythrocyte transfusions is poorly understood in oncology populations. This analysis among long-term survivors explored variation in transfusional burden over progressive eras of treatment identifying those at risk for iron overload. Transfusion records of 982 survivors of hematological malignancies treated at St. Jude were reviewed. After exclusions, 881 (90%) were assessed for cumulative volume, weight-adjusted volume and transfusion number. Treatment intensity was assigned using the Intensity of Treatment Rating Scale version 3.0 (ITR-3). Hematopoietic stem cell transplant and acute myeloid leukemia survivors had greater transfusional burden than conventional therapy recipients and acute lymphoblastic leukemia survivors, respectively. Survivors of 5-10 years were more likely than survivors of > 10 years to receive ≥ 10 transfusions (odds ratio = 2.0, 95% confidence interval 1.5-2.8). Those with higher ITR-3 scores and more recent decades of treatment had a higher transfusional burden. Comprehensive transfusion histories are useful in identifying those at highest risk for iron overload.

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