OBJECTIVES: The study investigates the hypothesis that inflammation in myelofibrosis (MF) like in myeloma and lymphoma, may disturb iron distribution and contribute to anaemia.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study of 80 MF and 23 ET patients was performed.
RESULTS: About 35% of anaemic MF patients had functional iron deficiency (FID) with transferrin saturation <20 and normal or elevated S-ferritin (<500 �g/L). In ET, FID was rare. In MF patients with FID, 70.6% were anaemic, vs 29.4% in patients without FID (P = 0.03). Hepcidin was significantly higher in MF patients with anaemia, including transfusion-dependent patients, 50.6 vs 24.4 �g/L (P = 0.01). There was a significant negative correlation between Hb and inflammatory markers in all MF patients: IL-2, IL-6 and TNF-?, (P < 0.01-0.03), LD (P = 0.004) and hepcidin (P = 0.03). These correlations were also seen in the subgroup of anaemic MF patients (Table ). Tsat correlated negatively with CRP (P < 0.001). Symptom burden was heavier in MF patients with FID, and MPN-SAF quality of life scores correlated with IL-6 and CRP.
CONCLUSIONS: The inflammatory state of MF disturbs iron turnover, FID is common and contributes to anaemia development and impairment of QoL. Anaemic MF patients should be screened for FID.