Iron stores in essential thrombocythaemia. A study of 26 patients.
The iron status of 26 patients with essential thrombocythaemia (ET) was evaluated at diagnosis by means of bone marrow iron and blood studies, including serum ferritin determination. Nine patients were males, 17 females, and the mean age was 53 years (range 7-81). A decreased or absent iron level by semiquantitative estimation on bone marrow smears was observed in 77% of patients, and 81% had a low sideroblast score. Such a marrow pattern of iron depletion was equally distributed between both sexes. Contrasting with this, normal Hb, MCV, serum iron and serum ferritin were registered in the majority of cases. According to these results, absent or decreased marrow iron would be a common feature in ET, generally not reflecting true iron deficiency, as it occurs in the remaining chronic myeloproliferative disorders. Thus, in patients in whom ET is suspected, the diagnostic criterion of ruling out iron deficiency would be better served by serum ferritin measurement than by bone marrow iron estimation.
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