Arch Iran Med 2013 Feb;16(2):88-92
Hematology-Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Background: Thalassemia major and its treatment by stem cell transplantation can have deleterious effects on bone integrity. This study assesses the adverse effects of transplantation on growing bones of pediatric thalassemic patients.
Methods: Bone mineral density (BMD) of 20 patients from three thalassemia classes whose mean (SD) age was 7.4 (3.8) years were tested with a Norland XR-46 device at baseline (before transplantation), 6 and 12 months after transplantation.
Results: At 6 and 12 months after transplantation we observed no significant changes in mean BMD. There were no Z-scores less than -2 among patients. Class 3 thalassemia did not negatively impact BMD. Calcium (Ca), phosphorous (P) and ferritin levels were not significantly related to patients' BMD scores. Transfusion duration and chelation therapy showed positive significant relationships to BMD (g/cm(2)), but no significant relation with the BMD Z-score. The deleterious relation between corticosteroid use and changes in BMD was not significant. In contrast, patients who developed acute graft versus host disease (aGVHD) after transplantation showed significant adverse effects on BMD of their femur (P = 0.020) and spine (P = 0.027).
Conclusion: Stem cell transplantation in pediatric thalassemic patients who do not develop aGVHD does not appear to have any significant positive or negative effects on BMD.