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Iranian Journal of Pediatrics
Tehran University of Medical Sciences Press
ISSN: 1018-4406
EISSN: 2008-2150
Vol. 18, No. s1, 2008, pp. 28-32
Bioline Code: pe08067
Full paper language: Farsi
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Iranian Journal of Pediatrics, Vol. 18, No. s1, 2008, pp. 28-32

 en Serum Folate Levels in Major Beta Thalassemia Patients
Shamsian, Bibi Shahin; Azadvari, Mohadeseh; Arzanian, Mohammad Taghi; Shamshiri, Ahmadreza; Alavi, Samin & Khojasteh, Omid


Objective: Beta major thalassemia is a variant of beta thalassemia syndrome which could be treated with bone marrow transplantation or if not available, regular blood transfusion. In the latter case, supportive therapy is the mainstay of treatment because of low folate intake or absorption. But the main cause of insufficient supportive therapy is the increasing need of bone marrow for ineffective erythropoiesis in the absence of regular blood transfusion. The purpose of regular blood transfusion in β major thalassemia patients is to maintain the range of hemoglobin level between 9 and 11 gr/dl to stop insufficient erythropoiesis completely. Therefore, by regular blood transfusion, supportive therapy with folic acid would not be needed. The aim of this study is to determine serum folate level in regular transfused β major thalassemia patients in Mofid Children's Hospital during 2006.
Methods: This is a cross sectional descriptive–analytic study performed on 100 β major thalassemia patients receiving regular blood transfusion and desferal. Post-storage leukodepleted blood is used for transfusion. Patients’ data is achieved from information data sheets. Serum folate level is determined with Electrochemiluminescence method in one of the most reliable laboratory centers. Normal serum folate level was 3-17.5 ng/ml in this laboratory with the sensitivity of 0.6 ng. Data analysis is performed with SPSS analysis software, and with chi squared, T-test and Spearman test.
Findings: 56 (56%) girls and 44 (44%) boys entered this study with a median age of 156 (± 71.2) months and an age range of 14-288 months. Patients’ median hemoglobin level was 9.5 (±0.87) g/dl, with minimum of 7.5 and maximum of 11.9 g/dl. Mean MCV was 84.2 (±4.20) fl, with the range of 73.4 -95.3 fl. Serum folate level was in the range of 1-19 ng/ml and median of 9 (± 4.9) ng/ml. Serum folate was less than 3 ng/ml in 3% of evaluated patients. Hemoglobin level was equal or more than 9 g/dl in 73% of patients.
Conclusion: It seems that if major β thalassemia patients receive regular blood transfusion, their serum folate level would be in normal range and supplementation therapy with folate will not be necessary.

Beta major thalassemia; Folic acid; Hemoglobin; Folate; Trace elements

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