Detection of Hepatotoxicity by Non-Transferrin Bound Iron in Beta Thalassemia Major

Posted on Author: .

About admin

Professor, Consultant Pathologist, American Board Certified Pathologist, Fellow College of American Pathologists. Areas of interest Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology, Cytology, Cancer, Ethics, Islam, Humanity

Detection of Hepatotoxicity by Non-Transferrin Bound Iron in Beta Thalassemia Major

Asma Naseer Cheema, Dilshad Ahmed Khan

Department of Pathology Army Medical College, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad-Pakistan.

Background: Hepatotoxicity due to iron overload as a result of multiple transfusions along with concomitant hepatotropic infections has not been studied in detail.

Objective: The objective of our study was to estimate the relationship between the extent of hepatocellular injury as reflected by serum levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and  iron status indices like Ferritin and  Non-transferrin bound iron(NTBI) .

Materials & Methods: A total of 137 transfusion dependent thalassemic patients with median age of 10 (range 3-21) years (73 males; 58 females) participated in the study. Total 76 (58%) patients were positive for hepatitis B&C and 55 (42%) negative. Serum ALT and Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were more significantly raised in hepatitis positive patients in comparison to other thalassemics. Significant correlation was found between hepatocellular damage (raised ALT) and NTBI (r=0.305) in thalassemic patients (figure. 3). No correlation was seen between serum ferritin and hepatocellular injury (r=0.028). We compared ROC curves of NTBI and Ferritin to detect hepatotoxicity (table 2). Serum NTBI proved to be better between the two. ROC curve of serum NTBI is shown (figure 4). Using cutoff value of 1.75uM and with AUC of 0.81, serum NTBI can detect hepatocellular damage in beta thalassemia major (BTM) with 76%sensitivity and 88% specificity.

Conclusion: A high percentage of thalassemic patients (58%) suffer from viral hepatitis after getting transfused.  NTBI is the best measure of iron toxicity showing the good association with iron overload complications as compared to serum ferritin.

Key words:     NTBI, Ferritin, Thalassemia majo


 Download PDF