Author(s): Fiorelli G, Fargion S, Piperno A, Battafarano N, Cappellini MD
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Abstract Iron overload is frequently present in patients with thalassemia intermedia, and it becomes evident mainly after the second and third decades of life. The degree of the iron load is heterogeneous ranging from mild to severe. In this study we evaluated the iron status of 38 adult patients with thalassemia intermedia and we looked for factors possibly related to the observed heterogeneity of the iron status. The levels of transferrin saturation (TS), serum ferritin (SF) and desferrioxamine-induced urinary iron excretion (DFU) were spread in a wide range from normal to markedly increased. These indices did not correlate with other parameters such as age, hemoglobin levels and entity of the erythropoietic status. A significant difference in the degree of iron overload was observed between patients who underwent splenectomy and non-splenectomized patients. TS, SF and DFU were significantly higher in splenectomized than in non- splenectomized patients, indicating that the spleen could have a role in the regulation of iron metabolism in these patients.
This article was published in Haematologica
and referenced in Journal of Blood Disorders & Transfusion