Korean J Blood Transfus.  2009 Aug;20(2):129-133.

A Case of Hemochromatosis Successfully Treated by 'Double Red Blood Cell' Phlebotomy

  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. swkwon@amc.seoul.kr


Hemochromatosis is a disorder of the iron metabolism leading to organ damage, such as skin pigmentation, liver cirrhosis, heart failure and diabetes, due to progressive tissue iron overload. Phlebotomy is currently the standard therapy for hemochromatosis, which prevents the progression of tissue damage. We report a case of hemochromatosis treated successfully by 'double red blood cell' phlebotomy using ALYX (Fenwal, DeerWeld, USA). A 60-year-old man presented with skin pigmentation around the armpit and an increase in the AST and ALT levels. Upon admission, the ferritin (1,443 ng/mL), AST (199 IU/L) and ALT (452 IU/L) were elevated. A liver biopsy revealed iron deposition in Kupffer cells and portal tracts. Four sessions of double red blood cell phlebotomies were performed for 3 months. The ferritin, AST and ALT levels decreased to 33 ng/mL, 105 IU/L and 188 IU/L, respectively. The patient had no adverse effects during treatment. This is the first report of the successful treatment of hemochromatosis by 'double red blood cell' phlebotomy in Korea.


Hemochromatosis; Phlebotomy; Erythrocytapheresis; ALYX
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