Link Between Serum Ferritin Level and Fibrosis in Older Patients with Myelofibrosis

By Kerri Fitzgerald - Last Updated: February 11, 2021

A study published in the American Journal of Blood Research observed a link between serum ferritin level and fibrosis in older patients with myelofibrosis (MF).

Researchers retrospectively assessed 46 patients (median age, 66 years; 52.2% were male) with MF diagnosed between 2012 and 2020; patients were categorized as having primary MF (n=30; 28.3%), secondary MF (n=26; 56.5%), and myeloproliferative neoplasms with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS/MPN; n=7; 15.2%).

Median serum ferritin level was 132.5 ng/mL; 65.2% were normal, 21.8% were high but did not require treatment (between 300 ng/mL and 1,500 ng/mL), and 13% were high and required treatment (1,500 ng/mL and above). About one-third of patients (34.8%) had 10 or more erythrocyte transfusions in the last year. A little more than half of patients (n=26; 56.5%) did not receive transfusion and did not use ruxolitinib or chelation therapy.

Researchers observed no relationship between serum ferritin and splenomegaly in any of the cases or subgroup analyses (P>0.05). There was a statistically significant relationship between serum ferritin and marrow fibrosis among those aged 60 years and older (P=0.016), which accounted for 67.4% of cases in the study.

“Even though there was no statistically significant difference between serum ferritin level and splenomegaly in the general population in this study, a significant relationship has been demonstrated between fibrosis and ferritin in the group [aged] 60 years and older. In this respect, ferritin is very important in showing the relationship between fibrosis,” the researchers concluded.