Little research has been done on changes in serum ferritin (s-ferritin) levels and clinical implications following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). We retrospectively evaluated the correlation of s-ferritin levels after HCT with survival in 203 patients. The s-ferritin level was significantly elevated, with 75% of the patients showing peak levels 90 days after HCT. The level was >10,000 ng/ml in a total of 43% of the patients, a finding that was associated with febrile neutropenia or infection. The s-ferritin level at day 30 and at 1 year after HCT was significantly associated with prognosis. However, this statistically significant relationship was lost after adjusting for acute-phase reactants. We conclude that hyperferritinemia is very common and the degree of influence of a red blood cell transfusion will vary depending on the phase after HCT. A prospective study is needed to determine if iron load in and of itself contributes to a worse prognosis after HCT. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel

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