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Prevalence of hypothyroidism in children with β-thalassemia major in children coming to the New Civil Hospital, Surat, Gujarat

Rahul Panchal, Ankur Patel.

Abstract
Background: Chronic blood transfusion therapy with iron chelation is only effective treatment for β-thalassemia major in India. This will increase the survival of patient but had a major drawback of endocrine complications such as hypothyroidism which is found more frequently in long-term survivors.

Objective: To study the prevalence of hypothyroidism in patients with β-thalassemia major.

Materials and Methods: A total of 100 cases of children with β-thalassemia major coming to NCHS from December 2013 to September 2014 were studied. All the cases were evaluated by clinical, demographical, biochemical analysis of each case with pedigree study to assess thyroid function.

Result: There were 67 males and 33 females with age ranging from 3 to 16 years and a mean age of 10.05 years. The mean pre-transfusion hemoglobin was 8.33 0.62. Thyroid function as indicated by the level of thyroid hormones was impaired in 10 out of 100 patients (10%); all 10 patients (10%) had subclinical hypothyroidism (normal T4 with high TSH); no case of secondary hypothyroidism (low TSH, T4) was found.

Conclusion: Though thyroid dysfunction in thalassemia may start early in life, hypothyroidism is not clinically observed in most β-thalassemia major patients. Therefore, thyroid function should be followed periodically, particularly when other iron overload associated complications occur. Early recognition and hence prevention of these complications help to improve the quality of life of these patients.

Key words: Hypothyroidism, β-thalassemia, prevalence, children


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