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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 43  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 55-62

Alteration of trace elements and T-cell subsets in patients with β-thalassemia major: influence of high ferritin level


1 Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut; Department of Clinical and Chemical Pathology, Qena Faculty of Medicine, South Valley University, Qena, Egypt
2 Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt
3 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt
4 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Minia University, Minia, Egypt
5 Department of Pediatrics, Qena Faculty of Medicine, South Valley University, Qena, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Asmaa Nafady
Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut 71515
Egypt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ejh.ejh_3_18

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Introduction Oxidative damage is believed to be found in transfusion-dependent patients with β-thalassemia. Oxidative damage may trigger an immune response and affect the trace elements. Objective The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of iron transfusional overload on lymphocytes and on the serum trace elements. Patients and methods A total of 53 patients with thalassemia were divided into two groups according to the ferritin level (≥1000 and <1000). The patients’ levels of zinc, copper, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous, as well as the proportion of T cells, B cells, T-helper cells, cytotoxic T cells, and natural killer cells, were compared with 40 healthy volunteers (control). Results Our finding showed that although the levels of hemoglobin, hematocrit, mean corpuscular volume, and mean corpuscular hemoglobin were significantly lower in all patients compared with control, their levels were comparable among patients with different ferritin level. Moreover, although serum zinc, calcium, and magnesium levels were significantly lower in patients, the serum level of phosphorous was significantly higher in patients, and serum copper showed an insignificant difference, and their levels did not differ among patients with different ferritin level. The proportion of total T cells and cytotoxic T cells was significantly increased in patients with higher ferritin level compared with control. On the contrary, the percentage of T-helper cells was lower in all patients regardless of the ferritin status. The percentages of B cells and natural killer cells were comparable among the study group. Conclusion Despite the slight effect of high ferritin on trace elements and lymphocyte subsets, insignificant findings necessitate further expanded study with larger sample size.


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