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Patients with transfusion-dependent anemias are at risk for iron overload, a condition that can lead to serious complications, including organ failure and death.1-7 Recent research also indicates that patients with non-transfusion dependent thalassemia may also be at risk for this condition.8 Iron chelation therapy can reduce iron levels in these patients, and adherence is critical to treatment success.8,9 This section discusses patient adherence and some consequences of iron overload, which may result from non-adherence, in addition to treatment guidelines.1-9


  1. Porter JB. Practical management of iron overload. Br J Haematol. 2001;115(2):239-252.
  2. Andrews NC. Disorders of iron metabolism. N Engl J Med. 1999;341(26):1986-95.
  3. Porter J. Pathophysiology of iron overload. Hematol/Oncol Clinics. 2005;19(suppl 1):7-12.
  4. Telfer PT, Prestcott E, Holden S, Walker M, Hoffbrand AV, Wonke B. Hepatic iron concentration combined with long-term monitoring of serum ferritin to predict complications of iron overload in thalassaemia major. Br J Haematol. 2000;110(4):971-7.
  5. Schafer AI, Cheron RG, Dluhy R, et al. Clinical consequences of acquired transfusional iron overload in adults. N Engl J Med. 1981;304(6):319-24.
  6. Kushner JP, Porter JP, Olivieri NF. Secondary iron overload. Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2001:47-61.
  7. Gabutti V, Piga A. Results of long-term iron-chelating therapy. Acta Haematol. 1996;95(1):26-36.
  8. Taher A, Porter J, Viprakasit V, et al. Deferasirox significantly reduces iron overload in non-transfusion-dependent thalassemia. 2012. In press.
  9. Claxton AJ, Cramer J, Pierce C. A systematic review of the associations between dose regimens and medication compliance. Clin Ther. 2001;23(8):1296-1310.

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