Background: Growth failure and abnormal plasma glucose level are common in patients with thalassemia major (TM), which are usually due to iron overload after repeated blood transfusion. Patients after successful bone marrow transplantation (BMT) will be free from further blood transfusion and thus spared from complications of iron overload. This study aimed at determining the incidence of abnormal glucose level in TM patients and studying the height difference between the TM patients who underwent BMT and who did not.
Objective and hypotheses: The BMT group consisted of 19 patients with TM who had undergone BMT and were followed up for at least two years. 54 TM patients of similar age who did not undergo BMT were recruited as the non-BMT group.
Method: The age at BMT, present age, weight, height, height standard deviation score (SDS) and weight SDS values, serum ferritin (SF), the fast blood glucose and insulin level were evaluated.
Results: The mean age was 10.3±3.6 years and transplantation age was 6.29±3.4 years. The SF of the BTM was lower than the non-BTM group (P=0.002). The height SDS score in BTM was found better than the non-BTM (P=0.039). There were no statistical differences in fast blood glucose and insulin level between two groups. 15.79% (3/19) of BTM patients had insulin resistance, while it was 14.81% (8/54) in non-BTM group (P=1). None of the BTM had impaired fast glucose (IFG) or diabetes mellitus (DM). While in non-BTM group, the prevalence was 18.5% (10/54) and 3.7% (2/54) respectively (P=0.029).
Conclusion: Allogeneic BTM may improve short stature of TM patients. Although BMT did not alter the abnormal glucose status of TM completely, it prevented this disease from exacerbating. The patients should be followed up regularly after transplantation.
10 - 12 Sep 2016
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology