Br J Haematol 2014 Dec 11;167(5):692-6. Epub 2014 Sep 11.
Department of Haematology, University College London, London, UK.
In transfusional iron overload, extra-hepatic iron distribution differs, depending on the underlying condition. Relative mechanisms of plasma non-transferrin bound iron (NTBI) generation may account for these differences. Markers of iron metabolism (plasma NTBI, labile iron, hepcidin, transferrin, monocyte SLC40A1 [ferroportin]), erythropoiesis (growth differentiation factor 15, soluble transferrin receptor) and tissue hypoxia (erythropoietin) were compared in patients with Thalassaemia Major (TM), Sickle Cell Disease and Diamond-Blackfan Anaemia (DBA), with matched transfusion histories. The most striking differences between these conditions were relationships of NTBI to erythropoietic markers, leading us to propose three mechanisms of NTBI generation: iron overload (all), ineffective erythropoiesis (predominantly TM) and low transferrin-iron utilization (DBA).