In this study maximum urinary iron elimination with continuous desferrioxamine subcutaneous infusion was obtained in thalassemia major patients with chronic persistent or active hepatitis with lower doses (60 mg/kg) than those necessary in patients without hepatitis (80 mg/kg). Since dose-response curves were highly variable the treatment schedule should be tailored to the individual needs of each patient. Both groups may achieve iron balance but chronic hepatitis patients have more frequently a net urinary iron excretion. In patients with chronic hepatitis no correlation was found between serum ferritin levels or serum ferritin/aspartate aminotransferase ratios and transfusional iron overload while serum ferritin/aspartate aminotransferase ratios were seen to be correlated with liver iron stores.

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