The effect of a single intramuscular injection of deferoxamine mesylate, a potent iron chelating agent, on six-hour urinary iron excretion was used as a simplified screening test for iron-storage disease. Sixteen normal, 12 diabetic, and 12 iron-overload patients were studied. The diabetic group showed a significant decrease in transferrin and in pre- and post-deferoxamine urinary iron excretion. Eleven patients in the iron-overload group exhibited varied but marked increase in serum iron levels and in pre- and post-deferoxamine urinary iron excretion. The 12th subject had iron deficiency as the result of many phlebotomies; the deferoxamine-test results were corroborated by absence of iron on liver biopsy. A range of values was proposed to set limits for normal and iron-overload groups.
Rosen BJ, Tullis JL. Simplified Deferoxamine Test in Normal, Diabetic, and Iron-Overload Patients: Clinical Observations. JAMA. 1966;195(4):261–264. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100040067018
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