Progress in Hematology Transfusional iron overload and iron chelation therapy

International Journal of Hematology

, Volume 88, Issue 1, pp 24-29

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Overview of guidelines on iron chelation therapy in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes and transfusional iron overload

  • Norbert GattermannAffiliated withDepartment of Hematology, Oncology and Clinical Immunology, Heinrich-Heine University Email author 


Between 2002 and 2008, a number of consensus statements and guidelines were developed by various groups around the world to educate healthcare professionals on the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), including the management of transfusional iron overload with iron chelation therapy. Guidelines have been developed by The Italian Society of Hematology, The UK MDS Guidelines Group, The Nagasaki Group, The National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and The MDS Foundation. These guidelines show that the approaches to managing iron overload in patients with MDS are region specific, differing in their recommendations for when iron chelation therapy should be initiated and strategies for the ongoing management of iron overload. The guidelines all agree that red blood cell transfusions are clinically beneficial to treat the symptomatic anemia in MDS, and that patients with low-risk MDS receiving transfusions are the most likely to benefit from iron chelation therapy.


Myelodysplastic syndromes MDS Iron overload Transfusional iron overload Treatment of iron overload Iron chelation therapy Guidelines on iron chelation