Iron status in red cell pyruvate kinase deficiency: Study of Italian cases

A. Zanella, A. Berzuini, M. B. Colombo, A. Guffanti, L. Lecchi, F. Poli, M. D. Cappellini, G. Barosi

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We investigated the iron status of 33 pyruvate kinase (PK) deficient patients, most of the cases reported in Italy. Serum ferritin (SF) was higher than the upper limit of the range of matched controls in 15/25 (60%) non-transfused patients (median 228 μg/l, range 58-3160 v 43, 22-310). Liver siderosis and fibrosis were found in 8/9, and cirrhosis in two who died at age 39 and 42 of complications of iron overload. SF was independent of age, sex, or severity of haemolysis. The prevalence of HLA-A3 antigen in PK deficient patients was not significantly different from that of our healthy population (29.6% v 23%). The HLA-A3 positive, non-transfused patients had significantly higher SF values than the HLA-A3 negative ones (median 675 μg/l, range 340-3160 v 145, 58-400). A pedigree study of six high SF-probands indicated that iron overload has a multifactorial pathogenesis. In particular, the association of PK deficiency-induced haemolysis, splenectomy and an additional factor (heterozygosity for idiopathic haemochromatosis, ineffective erythropoiesis) leads to severe iron accumulation. We suggest that monitoring iron status would be useful in PK deficient patients, particularly in splenectomized and HLA-A3 positive ones, to identify those at risk of iron overload and prevent the clinical consequences of iron accumulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-490
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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