Subcutaneous infusions of Desferal (DF) rarely induce negative iron balance in thalassemia major patients less than 6 years old. In nonsplenectomized patients the requirements for blood transfusions increase slightly. Urinary iron excretion decreases during the first days following a blood transfusion. An average of 5.8 mg/day equivalent to 30% of the total iron excretion is eliminated with the feces after subcutaneous infusions of DF. Serum ferritin does not decrease significantly after 18–24 months of therapy. The effectiveness of long-term therapy progressively increases in the splenectomized patients, while it decreases appreciably in the course of the treatment in the nonsplenectomized ones.

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