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December 1964

Evaluation of Deferoxamine In Iron Overload

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine.

Arch Intern Med. 1964;114(6):741-753. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.03860120053003

One of the distinctive features of human iron metabolism is the body's limited ability to excrete iron. When iron accumulates in great excess, associated tissue damage may appear. The consensus today is that removal of the excess iron is desirable.1,2 Removal of the vast accumulations of iron in patients with idiopathic hemochromatosis by repeated phlebotomies has been carried on for almost 15 years since this form of treatment was first used by Finch 3 and by Davis and Arrowsmith.4 Most patients with massive body iron overload due to multiple blood transfusions or from increased absorption of iron secondary to chronic hemolytic anemias cannot undergo phlebotomy. To effect iron removal from this group many different iron-chelating substances have been used with varying efficacy.1,5-7 Most of these agents have suffered from either lack of effectiveness or associated adverse side effects. Recently deferoxamine (desferrioxamine), an iron-chelating substance, has been used