OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to detect metabolic bone disease and endocrinopathies in a cohort of patients with transfusion-dependent thalassemia (TDT). METHODS: This prospective study was conducted between March 2020 - August 2021. Children with TDT older than 5 years, receiving regular blood transfusion, underwent comprehensive endocrine and metabolic bone disease evaluation, which included screening for short stature, delayed puberty, diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, adrenal insufficiency and hypoparathyroidism. Children older than 10 years also underwent. X-ray of thoracolumbar spine, and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scanning. RESULTS: Out of 37 patients (19 males), with mean (SD) age 15 (6) years, hypogonadism was the commonest endocrine deficiency seen in 15 (62%), followed by short stature, abnormal glucose metabolism, subclinical adrenal insufficiency, hypothyroidism, and hypoparathyroidism. Vitamin D insufficiency/deficiency was seen in 12 (60%) and hypocalcemia in 2 patients. Low bone mass was seen in 8, and osteoporosis, as evidenced by vertebral fractures, in 4 patients. Of the four patients with vertebral fracture, three were aged ≤18 years, one was symptomatic, two each had grade 1 and grade 2 fractures, one had multiple vertebral fractures, and all four had hypogonadism and multiple endocrine deficiencies. CONCLUSION: Vertebral fractures occur even in the second decade among patients with TDT, and are often associated with endocrinopathies, most commonly hypogonadism. Early screening and prevention of vertebral fractures is necessary.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health