Exp Clin Transplant 2015 Apr 12;13(2):173-8. Epub 2014 Nov 12.
From the Hematology-Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation Research Center/Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Objectives: Beta thalassemia major is a genetic hemoglobin disorder that affects bone density. The disease leads to deteriorating bone structure but can be treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplant. We aimed to assess bone mineral density changes in pediatric beta thalassemia major patients who had undergone a hematopoietic stem cell transplant compared with similarly affected patients who had not undergone a hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
Materials And Methods: Forty beta thalassemia major patients, 20 transplant and 20 nontransplant, younger than 16 years of age were enrolled. The mean age of transplant patients was 8.15 years and nontransplant patients was 9.5 years (P = .242). The female:male ratio was 1:1 in both groups. None of the patients reached puberty during this study. Bone mineral density was evaluated in transplant patients before and 1 year after hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Bone mineral density of nontransplant patients also was evaluated 1 year after their initial bone mineral density test. A Norland XR-46 densitometer was used to make all bone mineral density measurements. None of the patients had a z score < -2.
Results: Mean bone mineral density changes in the femur and spine during this study were 0.008 ± 0.075 g/cm2 and 0.048 ± 0.045 g/cm2 in transplant patients and 0.045 ± 0.072 g/cm2 and 0.036 ± 0.058 g/cm2 in nontransplant patients. No significant differences between bone mineral density changes in transplant and nontransplant patients were detected during the study.
Conclusions: No significant effects on bone mineral density were detected in hematopoietic stem cell transplant pediatric beta thalassemia major patients compared with similarly affected nontransplant patients. Studies of longer duration may be required to identify significant changes in bone mineral density in hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients.