Nine treatments of 1000 mL therapeutic phlebotomy in a subject with polycythemia: A case report

Physiol Rep. 2024 Jun;12(11):e16035. doi: 10.14814/phy2.16035.


Large-volume therapeutic phlebotomy is the mainstay of hemochromatosis treatment and offers an opportunity to investigate the hemodynamic changes during acute hypovolemia. An otherwise healthy 64-year-old male with hemochromatosis participated. On nine separate visits, 1000 mL therapeutic phlebotomy was performed. On one occasion, pre- and post-phlebotomy orthostatic challenge with 27° reverse Trendelenburg position was administered. Mean arterial pressure, heart rate, and stroke volume were measured continuously during the procedures. The patient's tolerance to the interventions was continuously evaluated. The procedures were well tolerated by the patient. Mean arterial pressure was maintained during hemorrhage and following phlebotomy in both supine and reverse Trendelenburg positions, primarily through an increase in heart rate and systemic vascular resistance. The present study found that 1000 mL therapeutic phlebotomy in a patient with hemochromatosis may be acceptably and safely used to model hemorrhage. The approach demonstrates high clinical applicability and ethically robustness in comparison with volunteer studies.

Keywords: hemorrhage; human; phlebotomy; polycythemia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Heart Rate
  • Hemochromatosis* / therapy
  • Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Hemorrhage / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phlebotomy* / methods
  • Polycythemia* / therapy