Efficacy of hydroxyurea in providing transfusion independence in β-thalassemia.

Packed red blood cell (PRC) transfusion with iron chelation is the mainstay of treatment for β-thalassemia major. This prospective interventional trial serves as a follow up to our similar earlier study that evaluated the efficacy and safety of hydroxyurea (HU) in minimizing PRC transfusions in patients with β-thalassemia major.
One hundred fifty-two patients with β-thalassemia major received HU at a mean dose of 16 mg/kg/d. The results were analyzed at the end of 24 months. Transfusion requirement during the 6 months preceding the study was considered as the control.
One hundred forty-six of 152 patients were evaluated after 24 months of follow up; 6 patients were either lost to follow-up or withdrew consent. Grade 1 myelosuppression was observed in 4 patients and diarrhea in 2 patients. Sixty children (41%) did not require any transfusion after using HU; 57 patients (39%) showed partial response with greater than 50% reduction in PRC transfusion; and 29 patients (20%) were nonresponders with less than 50% reduction in PRC transfusion. The mean volume of PRC transfused was reduced for all patients.
HU was found to be safe in patients with β-thalassemia major, and resulted in the reduction of transfusion requirement and in an increase in the interval between transfusions.
AuthorsSaqib H Ansari, Tahir S Shamsi, Mushtaq Ashraf, Kousar Perveen, Tasneem Farzana, Muneera Bohray, Sajida Erum, Tabassum Mehboob
JournalJournal of pediatric hematology/oncology (J Pediatr Hematol Oncol) Vol. 33 Issue 5 Pg. 339-43 (Jul 2011) ISSN: 1536-3678 [Electronic] United States
PMID21602718 (Publication Type: Controlled Clinical Trial, Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors
  • Hydroxyurea
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Erythrocyte Transfusion (utilization)
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyurea (administration & dosage, adverse effects)
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors (administration & dosage, adverse effects)
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult
  • beta-Thalassemia (drug therapy)

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