Iron Chelation

  • Norbert GattermannEmail author
  • Christian Rose
Part of the Hematologic Malignancies book series (HEMATOLOGIC)


Iron overload in MDS results from increased intestinal iron absorption due to ineffective erythropoiesis and, more importantly, from chronic transfusion therapy. Blood transfusions are necesssary to extend the survival of patients with MDS and improve their quality of life. However, the ensuing transfusional iron overload has a dose dependent negative impact on survival. Cardiac dysfunction appears to be relevant in this context, as a consequence of chronic anemia, age-related cardiac comorbidity, and iron overload. In addition, iron-related endothelial dysfunction and a higher risk of infection should be taken into account. Iron overload may also aggravate the bone marrow failure in MDS. Clinical trials have shown that iron chelators can improve hematopoiesis in a minority of transfusion-dependent patients. Analyses of registry data suggest that iron chelation provides a survival benefit for patients with MDS, but data from a randomized clinical trial are still lacking.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Hematology, Oncology and Clinical OncologyUniversity Hospital, Heinrich Heine University DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany
  2. 2.Service d’onco hématologie, Hôpital Saint Vincent de Paul, Université Catholique de LilleLilleFrance

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