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Endocrine abnormalities in children with Beta thalassaemia major

Authors:

Rajesh Joshi ,

Department of Paediatrics, B. J. Wadia Hospital for Children, Parel, Mumbai, India, IN
About Rajesh

Associate Professor, Department of Paediatrics, B. J. Wadia Hospital for Children, Parel, Mumbai, India

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Ankur Phatarpekar

Department of Paediatrics, B. J. Wadia Hospital for Children, Parel, Mumbai, India, IN
About Ankur

Registrar, Department of Paediatrics, B. J. Wadia Hospital for Children, Parel, Mumbai, India

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Abstract

Background: Endocrine complications in ?-thalassaemia major patients in developing countries are likely to occur at younger ages due to suboptimal iron chelation.

 

Objective: To assess the prevalence of endocrine abnormalities and correlate serum ferritin, degree of anaemia and liver dysfunction with endocrine dysfunction

Method: A cross sectional study was carried out in B. J. Wadia Hospital, over a period of 2 years, on all children with ?-thalassemia major over the age of 4 years receiving regular blood transfusions. Patients with transfusion dependent anaemia other than ?-thalassemia major were excluded.

 

Results: The total number of children over 4 years of age with ?-thalassaemia major receiving regular blood transfusions during the study period was 135. Mean haemoglobin was 7.8 ± 0.6g/dl and the mean serum ferritin level 5295 ± 2736ng/ml. The most common endocrine abnormality was delayed puberty (68%). Seventy one (52.5%) patients had short stature with the height Z-score 2.8±0.8. Hypocalcaemia was observed in 40 (38%) patients. Ten (9.4%) patients had hypoparathyroidism while in 7 (6.6%) it was suspected based on hypocalcaemia, high phosphorus and normal alkaline phosphatase. Rickets was seen in 25 (23.5%) patients. Hypothyroidism was present in 22 (22%) patients of whom 14 had compensated hypothyroidism. Insulin resistance, impaired fasting glucose/impaired glucose tolerance (IFG/IGT) and diabetes mellitus were seen in 7.6%, 4.4% and 2.6% patients respectively. Mean age of patients with delayed puberty was 15.8±1, short stature 10.3±3.4, hypoparathyroidism 10.4±4.2, hypothyroidism 10.4±3, IFG/IGT 10.4±2 and diabetes mellitus 14.2±1.2 years. Bone mineral density was done in 48 patients older than 10 years.

Eighteen (37.5%) patients had spinal osteoporosis. Five patients had more than one endocrine abnormality.

Conclusions: There were no statistically significant differences between the patients with and without endocrine abnormalities with respect to serum ferritin, mean pre-transfusion haemoglobin and liver dysfunction except for ferritin in patients with hypoparathyroidism and diabetes mellitus.

(Key words: ?-thalassaemia; serum ferritin; endocrine; haemoglobin; transaminase)

http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/sljch.v42i2.5628

How to Cite: Joshi, R. and Phatarpekar, A., 2013. Endocrine abnormalities in children with Beta thalassaemia major. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 42(2), pp.81–86. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljch.v42i2.5628
Published on 01 Jun 2013.
Peer Reviewed

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