Combined therapy with deferiprone and desferrioxamine successfully regresses severe heart failure in patients with β-thalassemia major

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Abstract

Cardiac complications caused by iron deposition are major causes of death in patients with β-thalassemia major. Deferiprone (L1) was found to have greater efficacy at depleting myocardial iron than desferrioxamine (DFX). Furthermore, combined therapy with L1 and DFX produced an additive or synergistic iron chelating effect. We report the successful treatment of severe heart failure in two patients with β-thalassemia major with the combined therapy. Magnetic resonance images showed a marked recovery of signal intensity in the heart, indicating a significant reduction of iron load in the heart. No significant adverse effects were noted. Therefore, combined therapy with L1 and DFX should be considered in patients with β-thalassemia major and cardiac complications.

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