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J Blood Med. 2016 Jul 18;7:139-44. doi: 10.2147/JBM.S108479. eCollection 2016.

Clinical applications of therapeutic phlebotomy.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, Gachon University Gil Medical Center, Incheon.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Soonchunhyang University, Cheonan Hospital, Cheonan, South Korea.


Phlebotomy is the removal of blood from the body, and therapeutic phlebotomy is the preferred treatment for blood disorders in which the removal of red blood cells or serum iron is the most efficient method for managing the symptoms and complications. Therapeutic phlebotomy is currently indicated for the treatment of hemochromatosis, polycythemia vera, porphyria cutanea tarda, sickle cell disease, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease with hyperferritinemia. This review discusses therapeutic phlebotomy and the related disorders and also offers guidelines for establishing a therapeutic phlebotomy program.


hemochromatosis; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; polycythemia vera; porphyria cutanea tarda; sickle cell disease; therapeutic phlebotomy

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