Iron in sickle-cell disease: What have we learned over the years?

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Over the last four decades, monumental advances have been made in the understanding, assessment, and management of transfusion-dependent patients, which have translated into significant improvements in patient morbidity and mortality. Important lessons have been learned from extensive clinical experience of iron management in the thalassemias, but greater knowledge of key differences in the sickle-cell disease (SCD) population may impact on our approach to patient assessment and management. The unique pathophysiology of SCD is reflected in a distinct pattern of iron loading with minimal organ-specific injury. An appreciation and understanding of these differences should allow us to develop tailored management approaches that optimize patient outcomes. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2011;56:182-190. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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