Abstract Subcutaneous desferrioxamine (2-4 g over 12 h) was administered 6 nights each week to 34 patients with transfusional iron overloads who continued to receive regular blood-transfusions. All 34 patients showed a fall in serum-ferritin after 5 to 12 months. In some patients serum-ferritin fell almost to normal. Liver function improved in all the patients, serum-aspartate-transaminase levels fell in all 17 patients tested, and liver-iron fell in 5 of 6 patients tested. These studies show that body-iron stores can be substantially reduced, to normal or near normal levels, by long-term subcutaneous desferrioxamine in patients with transfusional iron overload despite the need for continued blood-transfusion. They also show that removal of iron is accompanied by improved organ function.