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Serum ferritin concentration in sickle cell crisis.
  1. A Brownell,
  2. S Lowson,
  3. M Brozović

    Abstract

    Serum ferritin, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase and hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase (HBD) were studied during 21 vaso-occlusive crises in 12 adults with sickle cell disease (11 SS, 1 S beta degrees). The patients comprised three groups: those who had been untransfused (4), those who had received occasional exchange transfusion in crisis (3), and those who had been multiply transfused (5). Serum ferritin concentrations in crisis were compared with those of the steady state value. Rises in serum ferritin concentrations occurred in all crises in all groups. Although AST, alkaline phosphatase, and HBD rose, there was no correlation between these and log ferritin concentrations. The clinical impression was that the degree of rise in ferritin related to the severity of the particular crisis, and the above results showed that haemolysis and liver damage were not causally related to this rise. An estimate of serum ferritin cannot be used to assess the state of iron balance in sickle cell disease unless the patient is in the steady state. The considerable rise in serum ferritin concentration found in crisis, however, may be a useful marker of the extent of vaso-occlusion and tissue damage.

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