High prevalence of hypoparathyroidism in patients with beta-thalassemia major
Introduction: Hypoparathyroidism (HPT) is an irreversible but preventable disorder caused by an iron overload which can be considered a typical complication in patients with beta-thalassemia major. Patients and method: Parathyroid function was evaluated in 130 patients in Qom, Iran, who suffered from betathalassemia major. Their serum ferritin levels were checked for monitoring of chelation therapy effects. Results: The prevalence of HPT was 14.6% (19/130). The median age of patients with HPT was significantly higher than of patients without HPT (18 vs. 15 years; P=0.03). Serum ferritin levels was not significantly different between the two groups (median: 2709 vs. 1512; P=0.95). The prevalence of cardiac diastolic dysfunction in patients with HPT was significantly higher than in normal thalassemic patients (3.1% vs. 15.8%, P=0.04). Patients with hypoparathyroidism demonstrated abnormal glucose metabolism (0% vs. 15.8%; P=0.003). Conclusion: the high prevalence of hypoparathyroidism demonstrated poor chelation therapy in these patients. Close monitoring of ferritin level was recommended. Also, the measurement of parathyroid hormone on a regular basis for all thalassemic patients was recommended.