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July 25, 1980

Hemosiderosis in Hemodialysis Patients: An Autopsy Study of 50 Cases

JAMA. 1980;244(4):343-345. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310040025019

The distribution of stainable iron stores was investigated in various organs of 50 hemodialysis patients with chronic renal disease. Massive iron deposits were found in the liver and spleen. Among 18 patients with severe hepatosplenic siderosis, iron deposits were abundant in the adrenal glands, lymph nodes, and lungs and were sparse in the heart, kidneys, and pancreas. There was an absence or scarcity of stainable iron in bone marrow of 19 patients (38%) with hepatosplenic siderosis. In five of these marrowiron-depleted patients, serum concentrations of ferritin were high. In long-term hemodialysis patients, a variety of factors make massive iron overload of various organs a likely occurrence, severe hepatosplenic siderosis may occur in marrow-iron-depleted patients, and serum ferritin levels in this setting may not always accurately reflect the status of marrow iron store.

(JAMA 244:343-345, 1980)