Abstract

The liver is the main body site for iron storage. Iron chelators as DFo and L1 had problems of compliance and intolerance respectively. This prospective study enrolled 76 BTM patients aged from 9–33 years, mean of 14±4.4 to evaluate the effectiveness of both chelators judged by serum ferritin (sf) and liver iron content (LIC) using repeated liver biopsies. Fifty patients were on DFo 35 mg/kg/day 5 days per week and twenty-six were on L1 75 mg/kg/day on daily bases. Mean baseline sf values were 3678±1922 and 3573±1879 ng/ml while mean baseline LIC was 19.2±7.9 and 18.9±8.1 mg fe/g dw, while 12% and 14% showed evidence of liver fibrosis (score ≥ 3) respectively. Twenty-four months later; a decline in sf by 287±837 in Dfo (In Dfo compliant group [number = 30]who had received ≥ 75% of planned dose; sf dropped by 890±437 while increased in DFo non compliant by 621±513). While falling by 729±633 in L1 group. A decrease in LIC by 3.9±2.8 mg fe/g dw (−5.8±3.1 in Dfo compliant,+2.6±3.3 in Dfo non compliant) and falling by 2.2±3.4 mg fe/g dw in L1 group, the difference was statistically significant P< 0.05 between compliant and non compliant DFo and insignificant difference between Dfo and L1.The mean iron excretion: intake was 1.61,0.86 and 1.48 in Dfo compliant, non compliant and L1 respectively. A positive correlation was found between sf and LIC in both groups. Fibrosis was improved in Dfo compliant group better than L1 but no statistically significant difference was observed, while progressive fibrosis in 10% of Dfo non compliant group. All Dfo compliant group completed study, 18 out of 20 Dfo non compliant while six L1 patients discontinued the drug prematurely (3 severe gastrointestinal disturbances, 2 severe arthralgia and one repeated neutropenia). Conclusion: Both Dfo and L1 are effective iron chelators evident by drop in sf, LIC and improved fibrosis, however compliance and intolerance are still troublesome.

Disclosure: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

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