Iron Overload in Survivors of Childhood Cancer

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Patients transfused with packed red blood cells (PRBC), including childhood cancer survivors (CCS), experience complications. We describe iron overload (ferritin>500 ng/mL) prevalence and identify risk factors in CCS.


Of 116 participants, 3 (2.6%) had elevated ferritin. All were teenagers at cancer diagnosis and received >8000 mL PRBC. Total PRBC volume correlated best with elevated ferritin (r=0.74; P<0.0001). PRBC (8000 mL) had the best positive and negative predictive value (75% and 100%, respectively) for iron overload.


CCS may have iron overload. Overall prevalence is low. At-risk include teenagers at diagnosis and those receiving higher total PRBC volumes.

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