Thalidomide-induced Stroke in a Child With Thalassemia Major

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Abstract

β-thalassemia major is a hereditary anemia resulting from defects in β-globin production. It is also characterized by a hypercoagulable state with an increased risk of thrombosis. Thalidomide, a drug known for its immunomodulating and antiangiogenic properties, has recently been demonstrated to induce γ-globin gene expression and to increase the proliferation of erythroid cells. An increasing incidence of thromboembolic events in thalidomide-treated patients has been reported. This is often in the context of thalidomide combinations with other drugs, including steroids and particularly anthracycline-based chemotherapy, and with very low incidence of thrombosis with single-agent thalidomide treatment. We report a case of stroke in a β-thalassemic child who had received a course of thalidomide.

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