Annals of Hematology

, Volume 93, Issue 3, pp 375–379

Low prevalence of cardiac siderosis in heavily iron loaded Egyptian thalassemia major patients

  • Amal El Beshlawy
  • Mona El Tagui
  • Mona Hamdy
  • Mona El Ghamrawy
  • Khaled Abdel Azim
  • Doria Salem
  • Fadwa Said
  • Ahmed Samir
  • Timothy St Pierre
  • Dudley J Pennell
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00277-013-1876-0

Cite this article as:
El Beshlawy, A., El Tagui, M., Hamdy, M. et al. Ann Hematol (2014) 93: 375. doi:10.1007/s00277-013-1876-0

Abstract

Myocardial siderosis in thalassemia major remains the leading cause of death in developing countries. Once heart failure develops, the outlook is usually poor with precipitous deterioration and death. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) can measure cardiac iron deposition directly using the magnetic relaxation time T2*. This allows earlier diagnosis and treatment and helps to reduce mortality from this cardiac affection. This study aims to determine the prevalence of cardiac siderosis in Egyptian patients who are heavily iron loaded and its relation to liver iron concentration, serum ferritin, and left ventricular ejection fraction. Eighty-nine β-thalassemia patients receiving chelation therapy (mean age of 20.8 ± 6.4 years) were recruited in this study. Tissue iron levels were determined by CMR with cardiac T2* and liver R2*. The mean ± standard deviation (range) of cardiac T2* was 28.5 ± 11.7 ms (4.3 to 53.8 ms), the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was 67.7 ± 4.7 % (55 to 78 %), and the liver iron concentration (LIC) was 26.1 ± 13.4 mg Fe/g dry weight (dw) (1.5 to 56 mg Fe/g dw). The mean serum ferritin was 4,510 ± 2,847 ng/ml (533 to 22,360 ng/ml), and in 83.2 %, the serum ferritin was >2,500 ng/ml. The prevalence of myocardial siderosis (T2* of <20 ms) was 24.7 % (mean age 20.9 ± 7.5 years), with mean T2* of 12.7 ± 4.4 ms, mean LVEF of 68.6 ±5.8 %, mean LIC of 30.9 ± 13 mg Fe/g dw, and median serum ferritin of 4,996 ng/ml. There was no correlation between T2* and age, LVEF, LIC, and serum ferritin (P = 0.65, P = 0.085, P = 0.99, and P = 0.63, respectively). Severe cardiac siderosis (T2* of <10 ms) was present in 7.9 %, with a mean age of 18.4 ± 4.4 years. Although these patients had a mean T2* of 7.8 ± 1.7 ms, the LVEF was 65.1 ± 6.2 %, and only one patient had heart failure (T2* of 4.3 ms and LVEF of 55 %). LIC and serum ferritin results were 29.8 ± 17.0 mg/g and 7,200 ± 6,950 ng/ml, respectively. In this group of severe cardiac siderosis, T2* was also not correlated to age (P = 0.5), LVEF (P = 0.14), LIC (P = 0.97), or serum ferritin (P = 0.82). There was a low prevalence of myocardial siderosis in the Egyptian thalassemia patients in spite of very high serum ferritin and high LIC. T2* is the best test that can identify at-risk patients who can be managed with optimization of their chelation therapy. The possibility of a genetic component for the resistance to cardiac iron loading in our population should be considered.

Keywords

Thalassemia Cardiac siderosis Cardiac magnetic resonance Egypt Liver iron concentration 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amal El Beshlawy
    • 1
  • Mona El Tagui
    • 1
  • Mona Hamdy
    • 1
  • Mona El Ghamrawy
    • 1
  • Khaled Abdel Azim
    • 1
  • Doria Salem
    • 2
  • Fadwa Said
    • 3
  • Ahmed Samir
    • 4
  • Timothy St Pierre
    • 5
  • Dudley J Pennell
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsCairo UniversityCairoEgypt
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyCairo UniversityCairoEgypt
  3. 3.Department of Clinical PathologyCairo UniversityCairoEgypt
  4. 4.Department of RadiologyEin Shams UniversityCairoEgypt
  5. 5.School of PhysicsUniversity of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  6. 6.Cardiovascular Biomedical Research UnitRoyal Brompton Hospital and Imperial CollegeLondonUK

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