ABSTRACT: Packed red blood cell (PRC) transfusion with iron chelation is the mainstay of treatment for patients with beta-thalassemia major. Hemoglobin F augmentation is another approach to treat this hemoglobinopathy. This study evaluates the efficacy and safety of hydroxyurea (HU) in minimizing PRC transfusions in patients with beta-thalassemia major.
Twenty-three patients with beta-thalassemia major received HU at a mean dose of 16 mg/kg/d. The results were analyzed at the end of 24 months. Transfusion requirement during the 6 months preceding the study was considered as the control.
Twenty patients were evaluable after 24 months. The mean volume of PRC transfused was reduced from 2126.45 mL to 1489.59 mL (P<0.001). The interval between transfusions was increased by 68.7%. Grade I myelosuppression was observed in 4 patients and diarrhea in 2 patients.
HU was found to be safe in patients with beta-thalassemia major, and resulted in reduction in the transfusion requirements and in increase of the intervals between transfusions.
Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology 11/2007; 29(11):743-6. · 1.16 Impact Factor