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Thalassemia Major: A Problem of Iron Overload

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Department of Pediatrics, Upstate Medical Center, State University of New YorkSyracuse, New York

Ann Intern Med. 1974;81(2):262-263. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-81-2-262
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It has long been recognized that the palliative treatment of beta thalassemia major is ultimately little more than the substitution of one form of chronic disease (iatrogenic iron overload), and death, for the short life associated with the natural course of the disorder. With a point d'appui for definitive therapy not yet established, the concern of the physician would be optimally focused on those factors that can reduce the burden to the body of iron and its effects on many organ systems.

Desferrioxamine, shown over a decade ago to effectively chelate iron, was expected to be useful in iron overload


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