Serum ferritin and Hodgkin's disease

W. R. Bezwoda, D. P. Derman, T. H. Bothwell, R. Baynes, C. Hesdorffer, A. P. MacPhail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The haemoglobin, serum iron, transferrin saturation, serum ferritin, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), splenic weight and non‐haem iron concentration in the marrow, liver and spleen were measured prior to treatment in 35 patients with Hodgkin's disease who underwent staging laparatomy. The Hb, serum iron and transferrin saturation showed a significant decrease with increasing stage of the disease. In contrast, there was a significant increase in the serum ferritin, ESR, splenic weight and in all the tissue non‐haem iron concentrations. The calculated total iron content of the body remained relatively constant throughout at about 2 g but with increasing stage there was an internal redistribution of iron, with a progressive drop in Hb iron and a reciprocal rise in storage iron, especially in the liver. Serum ferritin concenrrations, which rose with progression of the disease, were inappropriately high in relation to the size of body stores at all stages but especially in patients with 4B disease and hepatic involvement. It was concluded that the serum ferritin concentrations are raised for several reasons in Hodgkin's disease. They reflect an increase in body iron stores, ferritin's role as an ‘acute phase’ protein in the inflammatory response and hepatic damage in patients with advanced disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-510
Number of pages6
JournalScandinavian Journal of Haematology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1985


  • Hodgkin's disease
  • iron stores
  • plasma ferritin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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