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Studies of variations of subcutaneously infused desferrioxamine and iron movements in thalassaemia children

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Desferrioxamine (DFO) plus ferrioxamine (FO) variations and alterations in plasma and urinary iron (Fe) levels were investigated in eight children with thalassaemia major during a 12-h s.c. DFO infusion at a dose of 40 mg/kg body weight. During the infusion, blood samples were regularly taken and total urine was also regularly collected in all patients. In the plasma, a mean DFO plus FO plateau level of 9 mg/l was reached after 4 h and remained steady in the subsequent 8 h. At 30 h the mean DFO plus FO concentration in plasma was still 4.5 mg/l. At 30 h, the urinary excretion ranged from 15% to 70% of the infused dose (mean: 42%). In plasma, the Fe concentration increased on average by 20% (range 10%–30%), remained steady during the DFO infusion, then returned to the basal level after 16–24 h. Urinary Fe excretion started early and still persisted 18 h after the infusion. The amount excreted at 30 h ranged from 5 to 27 mg (mean: 13.6 mg). This study emphasizes the delay in obtaining a DFO plus FO plateau in plasma, the important interindividual variations and the slow decrease of the drug after the end of the infusion. It points out the delay and the values of the urinary Fe excretion compared to the plasmatic and urinary drug variations.

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Correspondence to R. Girot.

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Llados i Vallory, E.A., Girot, R., Lenoir, G. et al. Studies of variations of subcutaneously infused desferrioxamine and iron movements in thalassaemia children. Eur J Pediatr 148, 503–506 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00441542

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Key words

  • Desferrioxamine
  • Iron
  • Chelation therapy
  • Thalassaemia