Evaluation of the Clinical and Laboratory Characteristics of Previously Followed-up Thalassemia Intermedia Patients to Provide Them Better Care in the Future
The increased awareness about the severity of complications in thalassemia intermedia patients led authorities to develop strategies for better management and follow-up of these patients. In this study, we aimed to define the clinical and laboratory characteristics in previously followed-up β-thalassemia intermedia patients and wanted to gain an insight about the follow-up of this patient population in a developing country to provide them better care in the future. The mean age at diagnosis was 4 years, and the mean hemoglobin was 7.13 g/dL. The mean age at the beginning of regular transfusion was 4.8 years. An overall 74% of patients were on a regular transfusion program. The mean ferritin values at diagnosis and the last follow-up were 487 and 1225 ng/mL, respectively. The most common mutations detected in patients were IVS-I-110, IVS-I-6, IVS-II-1, and FCS 8/9 in order of frequency. Complications were seen in 48% of patients. The most common complications were osteopenia/osteoporosis (34%), growth retardation (24%), hypogonadism (18%), and cardiomyopathy (13%). In conclusion, the relatively higher complication rate in our patients who were previously treated highlights once again the need for an increased effort for optimal management and follow-up of this specific group of patients.