International Journal of Hematology and Oncology 2023, Vol 33, Num 4 Page(s): 193-199
Common Complications in Beta-Thalassemia Patients

Ayhan YAMAN1, Pamir ISIK1, Nese YARALI1, Selmin KARADEMIR1, Semra CETINKAYA1, Ali BAY1, Serdar OZKASAP1, Abdurrahman KARA1, Bahattin TUNC1

Dr. Sami Ulus Maternity and Children’s Health and Diseases Training and Research Hospital, Department of Hematology, Ankara, TURKEY

Keywords: Thalassemia major, Thalassemia intermedia, Complications
Even the life span has prolonged for the last 40 years, increase in frequently seen complications with increasing age negatively affect the life quality of thalassemia patients. In our study, complications encountered in 67 ß-thalassemia patients who were followedup at our hospital between 1 January 2004 and 31 May 2009 were retrospectively analyzed. Fifty-six patients were followed up with diagnosis of thalassemia major and 11 with thalassemia intermedia. Totally, 56.7% of patients were male and 43.3% were female. Ages varied between 2-20 years with the mean age of 10.3±4.8 years. Mean ferritin level was 2212±1370 ng/mL (41-6263 ng/mL) for 4.5 years. Complications were increased with increasing age. Complication rates were significantly higher among thalassemia major patients compared to thalassemia intermedia patients. There was no statistically significant relationship between complications and mean ferritin levels. The most common complications were endocrine complications (38.8%). Cardiac complications developed in 22.4% of the patients; gastroenterological complications in 19.4%; allergic complications in 9%; infectious complications in 1.5%; and thrombosis was detected in 1.5%. The endocrine complications were osteoporosis, growth retardation, developmental delay, short stature, hypothyroidism, delayed puberty, hypogonadism, and diabetes mellitus. The cardiac complications were left ventricular wall hypertrophy, diastolic dysfunction, systolic dysfunction, heart failure, pericardial effusion, dilated cardiomyopathy, left ventricular dilatation, left atrial dilatation, and fatal arrhythmias. Mortality occurred in one (1.5%) out of 67 ß-thalassemia patient due to dilated cardiomyopathy and fatal arrhythmia.