Elevated ferritin levels in kidney transplant (KT) recipients are associated with an increased risk of infection in the early post-transplant period, researchers reported in Transplant Infectious Disease (2013;15:600-611).

Mario Fernández-Ruiz, MD, and colleagues at Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain, prospectively studied 228 patients undergoing kidney transplantation and analyzed various iron parameters within the first two weeks after transplantation and before the occurrence of the first infectious episode.

Patients with ferrtin levels above 500 ng/mL had higher incidence rates of overall, bacterial, and bloodstream infection during the first post-transplant year. Multivariate analysis showed that ferritin was an independent predictor of overall and bacterial infection.

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“Monitoring of serum iron parameters in the early post-transplant period may be useful in predicting the occurrence of infection in KT recipients, although further studies should be carried out to confirm this preliminary finding,” the authors concluded.