Scientific Literature

Renal Dysfunction in Pediatric Patients in Iraq With β-Thalassemia Major and Intermedia

Mohammad G. S., Meaad K. H., Hamid J., Lamia M. Cureus. (2022)


With optimum transfusion and chelation therapy, the survival of β-thalassemia patients and the incidence of various complications, including renal complications, have improved.


To investigate renal involvement in β-thalassemia patients using serum and urinary biochemical markers of glomerular and tubular dysfunction.


This case-control study included 69 β-thalassemia major (β-TM) patients, 23 β-thalassemia intermedia (β-TI) patients, and 100 healthy controls, all ranging from 1 to 16 years in age. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN), serum ferritin, serum and urinary levels of creatinine (Cr), uric acid (UA), calcium (Ca), phosphorus (Ph), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), and potassium (K), and the urinary albumin/creatinine ratio were evaluated.


The BUN level and the urinary Na/Cr, K/Cr, Ca/Cr, Mg/Cr, Ph/Cr, albumin/Cr, and UA/Cr ratios were significantly higher in the β-thalassemia patients than in the controls. In contrast, the serum Na, K, Ca, and Mg levels were significantly lower in the patients (P<0.05). An elevated urinary UA/Cr ratio was found in 61.9% of β-thalassemia patients, and an elevated urinary Ca/Cr, and urinary albumin/Cr ratio was found in 53.2%. An elevated Na/Cr ratio was found in 41.3%. The serum and urinary renal markers showed no significant differences between patients with β-TM and β-TI, except for microscopic hematuria, which was significantly higher in β-TI patients (34.8%) than in β-TM patients (13%), P>0.02. At an older age, high serum ferritin levels and deferoxamine therapy were associated with significant tubular and glomerular dysfunction in β-thalassemia patients.


Pediatric patients with β-thalassemia have significantly abnormal tubular and glomerular functions, necessitating early detection and monitoring to prevent/reverse renal function deterioration.

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