Serum Ferritin Levels In 41 Multiple-Transfused Sickle Cell Patients at the Yaoundé Central Hospital, Cameroon, Africa: A Pilot Study

Claude Tagny Tayou, Martine E Oloume, Bernard Chetcha, Dora Mbanya


AIM: Serum ferritin is widely used to assess iron load. Transfusion is usually indispensable in management of sickle cell disease. Iron overload is a major factor associated with morbidity in these patients when they benefit from repeated blood transfusions. We assessed serum ferritin levels of multiple transfused sickle cell patients using an Enzyme-Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay in order to determine the frequency of hypo and hyperferritinemia. C-reactive protein was determining to find an acute inflammatory process. Results: A total of 41 patients received a minimum of two blood transfusions. Their ages ranged from 15 to 59 years with a mean of 27.2±9.8 years. Females represented 64.3% of patients. Each patient received about 2 to 18 red blood cell transfusions. All patients received transfusion for anaemia management; serum ferritin levels ranged from 31 to 1,255 µg/L, with high levels (>150 μg/L for female and >200 μg/L for male) found in 46.3% of patients. In our study population 34.1% had normal C-reactive protein. There were 17% of patients with elevated serum ferritin levels without an associated inflammatory process. Our study showed weak correlation between ferritin levels and number of blood transfusions in patients with normal CRP (r =0.02), as well as in the whole studied population (r = 0.14). Conclusion: Hyperferritinemia is frequent in sickle cell disease patients having history of transfusion. However, it does not seem to be associated to frequency of blood transfusions in Cameroon.


Ferritin; Transfusion; Sickle cell disease; Iron overload

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