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As survival increases in β-thalassemia, renal complications emerge


In a scientific paper recently published in Hematology, researchers discussed the most common pathophysiologic and clinical manifestations of renal disease in patients with beta thalassaemia.

“In recent years, the life expectancy of patients with thalassaemia has increased, and this has allowed previously unrecognized renal complications to reveal themselves,” said lead author Christos Demosthenous, MD, of the George Papanicolaou General Hospital of Thessaloniki in Greece. “Although renal disease is a rare cause of morbidity, approximately 60% of patients with thalassaemia are expected to experience renal complications”.

Therefore,” he continued, “there is a need to increase awareness among physicians about [the benefits of] closer monitoring and follow up of renal function in patients with thalassaemia. Early diagnosis and appropriate intervention will prevent subsequent adverse events from emerging.

Dr Demosthenous and colleagues conducted a comprehensive literature review in order to summarize the published evidence on the epidemiology and pathophysiology of renal disease in patients with thalassaemia. Their data included information from sources published in English since 1990.

As renal complications in this setting have not been extensively studied, information on their epidemiology is limited. Cross-sectional studies looking at different thalassaemia groups, drawn from 5 different thalassaemia centers in North America, showed reduced creatinine clearance in 7.8% of patients and albuminuria in up to 59% of patients. A more recent study found that 1.8% of patients with transfusion-dependent thalassaemia (TDT) had some degree of renal dysfunction. In another paper, renal complications were the fourth most common cause of morbidity (4%) in patients with thalassaemia, after endocrine (44.7%), cardiovascular (41.3%), and hepatic (40.5%) disease. At present, however, there are no data from large observational cohorts on the prevalence of chronic kidney disease “following contemporary definitions in patients with beta thalassaemia,” the review authors noted.

Read the full article here (“Renal Complications” section)

Source: Haematology Advisor


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