Patients with hereditary hemochromatosis reach safe range of transferrin saturation sooner with erythrocytaphereses than with phlebotomies

E. Rombout-Sestrienkova*, L. Brandts, G.H. Koek, C.T.B.M. van Deursen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


Introduction For the maintenance treatment of patients with hereditary hemochromatosis (HH), it is advised to keep the transferrin saturation (TSAT) <70% to prevent formation of non-transferrin-bound iron and labile plasma iron. The period of the initial iron depletion may last up to 1 year or longer and during this period, the patient is exposed to elevated TSAT levels. Therapeutic erythrocytapheresis (TE) is a modality which has proven to reduce treatment duration of patients with iron overload from HH. In this study, we investigated the time to reach TSAT <70% for both treatment modalities. Methods From a previous randomized controlled trial comparing erythrocytaphereses with phlebotomies (PBMs), we performed an analysis in a subgroup of patients who presented with TSAT >70%. Mann-Whitney U tests were performed to compare the number of treatments and the number of weeks to reach the interim goal of a persistent level of The period to reach TSAT levels of <70% was statistically significant shorter for the TE group compared to the PBM treatment group (median treatment procedures [IQR] 2.0 (5) vs 16.0 (23), P-value: <.001, and median treatment duration [IQR]: 5.5 (11) vs 19.0 (29) weeks, P-value: .007). Conclusion Patients with HH reach a safe TSAT <70% significantly sooner and with less treatment procedures with TE compared to PBM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-105
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Apheresis
Issue number1
Early online date13 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • hereditary hemochromatosis
  • phlebotomy
  • therapeutic erythrocytapheresis
  • transferrin saturation
  • RISK

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