With a prevalence of 0.4%, hereditary haemochromatosis is the most common autosomal-recessive genetic disease in Northern Europe. Hereditary haemochromatosis is characterized by an increase in the absorption of iron. This consequently leads to the excessive deposition of iron in tissues and organs with resultant functional impairment. Early-stage treatment can prevent complications resulting from the accumulation of iron. The standard treatment for hereditary haemochromatosis is phlebotomy, whereby 500 ml of whole blood is removed once a week until serum ferritin levels of 50-100 mug/l are achieved. After this, the patient must undergo lifelong maintenance treatment consisting of 3-6 phlebotomies per year on average. An alternative treatment is erythrocytapheresis, the selective removal of erythrocytes by way of apheresis. This procedure makes it is possible to collect more erythrocytes than during phlebotomy, resulting in significantly fewer treatment sessions being needed for the initial removal of overabundant iron.
|Journal||Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2012|