Incidentally Detected Transfusion-associated Iron Overload in 3 Children After Cancer Chemotherapy

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Iron overload is a potential long-term complication among cancer survivors who received transfusions during treatment. Although there are screening guidelines for iron overload in pediatric survivors of hematopoietic stem cell transplant, these do not call for screening of other pediatric oncology patients. In our practice we incidentally discovered 3 patients in a population of 168 cancer survivors over the span of 17 years who were treated for cancer without hematopoietic stem cell transplant who had iron overload. The 3 patients had elevated liver iron on magnetic resonance imaging T2* and 2 received therapeutic phlebotomy. These cases, and others like them, suggest that collaborative groups should consider revisiting the literature to establish screening and treatment guidelines for iron overload after cancer therapy.

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