Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
On-line version ISSN 1414-431X
BOTURAO-NETO, E.; MARCOPITO, L.F. and ZAGO, M.A.. Urinary iron excretion induced by intravenous infusion of deferoxamine in ß-thalassemia homozygous patients. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2002, vol.35, n.11, pp. 1319-1328. ISSN 1414-431X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-879X2002001100009.
The purpose of the present study was to identify noninvasive methods to evaluate the severity of iron overload in transfusion-dependent ß-thalassemia and the efficiency of intensive intravenous therapy as an additional tool for the treatment of iron-overloaded patients. Iron overload was evaluated for 26 ß-thalassemia homozygous patients, and 14 of them were submitted to intensive chelation therapy with high doses of intravenous deferoxamine (DF). Patients were classified into six groups of increasing clinical severity and were divided into compliant and non-compliant patients depending on their adherence to chronic chelation treatment. Several methods were used as indicators of iron overload. Total gain of transfusion iron, plasma ferritin, and urinary iron excretion in response to 20 to 60 mg/day subcutaneous DF for 8 to 12 h daily are useful to identify iron overload; however, urinary iron excretion in response to 9 g intravenous DF over 24 h and the increase of urinary iron excretion induced by high doses of the chelator are more reliable to identify different degrees of iron overload because of their correlation with the clinical grades of secondary hemochromatosis and the significant differences observed between the groups of compliant and non-compliant patients. Finally, the use of 3-9 g intravenous DF for 6-12 days led to a urinary iron excretion corresponding to 4.1 to 22.4% of the annual transfusion iron gain. Therefore, continuous intravenous DF at high doses may be an additional treatment for these patients, as a complement to the regular subcutaneous infusion at home, but requires individual planning and close monitoring of adverse reactions.
Keywords : ß-Thalassemia; Iron overload; Deferoxamine; Iron excretion.