Serum iron status in beta-thalassemic patients with clinical signs of iron overload


Iron overload is the main complication of beta-thalassemia. This study was conducted toevaluate iron status in thalassemic patients with clinical signs of iron overload. The study was donein thalassemic centre at Ibn Al-Atheer Pediatric Teaching Hospital in Mosul, Iraq. Two groups often thalassemic patients for each group were included in this study. The first group includedpatients without clinical signs of iron overload their ages ranged between 4-13 years (mean ±SD:7.3±3.7 years), while the second group included patients with clinical signs of iron overload, theirages ranged between 8-20 years (mean ± SD: 15.3±3.4 years). Serum iron, ferritin and percentagesaturation of total iron binding capacity (TIBC) were significantly higher (P<0.001) in thethalassemic patients with clinical signs in comparison with the other group. However, serumtransfirrin and TIBC were significantly lower (P<0.05) in the clinical signs patients compared withthe other group. All values of serum iron status were within the normal range except thepercentage saturation of TIBC in the clinical signs patients. The mean age of the clinical signspatients were significantly higher (P<0.001) than the mean age of the other group. In conclusionpatients with thalassemia major in Iraq are poorly managed though iron chelator is used.Percentage saturation of TIBC is recommended to estimate iron overload.