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Generalized pruritus in dysmetabolic hyperferritinemia treated by phlebotomy


This paper describes a case of pruritus caused by dysmetabolic hyperferritinemia treated by multiple phlebotomies.A 63-year-old man was followed for generalized pruritus, which was resistant to the usual treatments. He presented with metabolic syndrome. Physical examination showed only excoriations and lichenification on the skin. The serum ferritin was high at 1043 ng/ml, with transferrin saturation at 67%. The other biological investigations and genetic tests for hemochromatosis were negative.In spite of the dietary measures, the ferritin level was still high (853ng/ml). Magnetic resonance imaging confirmed hepatic iron overload.The association of hyperferritinemia, hepatic iron overload, and metabolic syndrome led to the diagnosis of dysmetabolic hyperferritinemia.Phlebotomies are an unusual treatment, but because the pruritus and hyperferritinemia were still present, phlebotomy wasinitiated. After 19 months, the patient reported improvement of his pruritus and normalization of ferritin levels.

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