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Hemochromatosis

Hemochromatosis and low WBC/platelets?

06/30/2008

Question:

I was diagnosed with hemochromatosis in 1996 and have been very successful in maintaining it with regular bloodlettings. Over the last couple of years, I have noticed that my WBC, absolute neutrophils and platelet counts have been consistently low. Is there any connection between the hemochromatosis and the low numbers in my bloodwork? Any searches on the Web for an explanation of the low numbers points me to chemotherapy reactions, but I`m not undergoing any of this. Any advice, or other areas to explore, would be greatly appreciated

Answer:

While there is no direct correlation between hemochromatosis per se and changes in the white count and platelet counts, the first thing that I always think about in our internal medicine clinics is whether there is some sort of underlying liver disease such as cirrhosis or something that causes the spleen to enlarge.  You might want to talk about this with your doctors and find out other things that could be causing those problems. Whether or not it is related to hemochromatosis is unclear as we do not have enough data to comment on it.

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Response by:

Mark   Wurster, MD Mark Wurster, MD
Former Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University