Folia Medica 62(2): 265-270, doi: 10.3897/folmed.62.e39518
Reduction of Liver Iron Load in Adult Patients with β-Thalassemia Major Treated with Modern Chelation Modalities
expand article infoPencho G. Georgiev§, Katya G. Sapunarova§, Veselina S. Goranova-Marinova§, Stefan E. Goranov
‡ Hematology Section, First Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University of Plovdiv, Plovdiv, Bulgaria§ Clinical Hematology Clinic, St George University Hospital, Medical University of Plovdiv, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Open Access

Background: Management of beta-thalassemia major (TM) requires life-long hemotransfusions leading to iron overload. Iron elimination is enhanced by the use of modern chelators. 

Aim: To assess the effect of modern chelation therapy by dynamics of serum ferritin concentration and liver MRI T2*.

Patients and methods: Forty-six patients with TM (male to female ratio =1:1, mean age 33.2±10.9 years) were prospectively studied between 2011 and 2014. Twenty-one patients (45.7%) were treated with deferasirox, 17 (37%) – with deferiprone, and 8 (17.3%) – with deferiprone in combination with deferoxamine. Ferritin was measured by ELISA. MRI T2* was assessed by Siemens Magnetom Avanto 1.5T. The patients were allocated into 3 groups based on their initial ferritin level and liver MRI T2*. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS v. 18 for Windows. Data were analysed by descriptive analysis, analysis of variance and correlative analysis, means were compared using t-test and one-way ANOVA.

Results: In 2011, 9 (19.5%) patients had normal liver MRI T2*; in 2014 they were 17 (37%). The patients with mild grade liver siderosis were 12 (26%) in 2011, and in 2014 they were 14 (30.4%). In 2011, the patients with moderate liver siderosis were 14 (30.4%), and in 2014 – 12 (26.0%). Eleven patients (23.9%) had severe liver siderosis in 2011 and only two patients (4.0%) were diagnosed with the condition in 2014.

Conclusion: A reduction of iron overload was found in all studied groups. This positive effect is attributed to the use of modern chelators and the ease of access to accurate monitoring.

beta-thalassemia major, hepatic iron overload, ferritin, MRI T2*