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Forum Name: Hematology Topics

Question: 1409 Ferrintin and low serum iron


 bjismyname - Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:59 pm

The doctors have been treating me for anemia with iron infusions, but now my ferrintin level has suddenly skyrocketed to 1409 with no explanation. The iron infusion have been discontinued, but what could explain what is going on?
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:41 am

User avatar Hello,

A known complication from the Duodenal Switch (DS) surgery is malabsorption of certain essential elements like vitamins and minerals. Thus, supplements are commonly prescribed for individuals who underwent this surgery. Folic acid and iron are of these elements that are to be supplemneted after this operation.

Most of the iron in our body is stored in the form of ferritin, a protein bound iron. Since ferritin is in the inside of cells, its level in the blood is small. Ferritin level may be high or low in association with certain diseases.

Ferritin test is usually performed together with the level of iron and other blood elements to confirm the type of anemia when levels are low.

To the contrary, elevated blood levels are seen in cases of: increased iron absorption (genetic disorders), following excess blood transfusion, blood hemolysis or damage in certain organs. Liver diseases, blood diseases including leukemia, infections and inflammatory conditions like arthritis are associated also with high ferritin level mostly with normal level of iron.

Very high ferritin levels (greater than 1,000 ng/mL) signify an iron overload can be seen in conditions like excess iron absorption (congenital hemochromatosis), excess blood transfusions (acquired hemochromatosis), abnormal erythropoeisis (in bone marrow diseases like MDS) or following excess Iron infusion.

Too much iron deposition in body organs, like the liver, endocrine organs, pancreas or heart, may negatively affect their function. Thus it is important to monitor the level of ferritin and to avoid its overload in the body with prompt management.

Discontinuation of Iron infusion therapy and frequent monitoring of the ferritin level in the blood are essential steps to determine the need for further therapeutic intervention.

I would advise you to follow up with your doctor.
Please keep us updated.

Best regards.

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