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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 63  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 710-715

Ocular abnormalities in multi-transfused beta-thalassemia patients

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran
2 Department of Optometry, School of Paramedical Science, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
3 Thalassemia Research Center, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran
4 Department of Optometry, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Samira Heydarian
Department of Optometry, School of Paramedical Science, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.170986

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Aims: The aim of this study was to assess ocular changes in thalassemia patients who have received multiple transfusions and chelate binding therapy in order to avoid iron accumulation. Settings and Design: A cross-sectional study. Subjects and Methods: A total of 54 thalassemia major patients were selected as case group, and 54 age- and sex-matched healthy subjects were regarded as a control group. Ocular examination included visual acuity, refraction testing, slit lamp examination, funduscopy, tonometry, perimetry, tear break-up time test, and color vision testing were performed for all the participants. We computed the frequency and duration of blood transfusion, the mean serum ferritin level, pretransfusion hemoglobin concentration, and type, duration, and daily dose of chelation therapy for thalassemia patients based on their records. Statistical Analysis Used: All data analysis was performed using SPSS, version 19. Results: All the thalassemic patients were asymptomatic, but abnormal ocular findings (dry eye (33.3%), cataract (10.2%), retinal pigment epithelium degeneration (16.7%), color vision deficiency (3.7%), and visual field defects (33.7%)) were seen in 68.5% of thalassemic group. The prevalence of ocular abnormalities in normal group was 19.4%, which was significantly lower than that in thalassemia patients (P = 0.000). No significant correlation was found between ocular abnormalities and mean serum ferritin level (P = 0.627) and mean hemoglobin concentration (P = 0.143). Correlation of number of blood transfusion with the presence of ocular abnormalities was found to be statistically significant (P = 0.005). Conclusions: As life expectancy for beta-thalassemia patients extends, regular ophthalmological evaluation to detect early changes in their ocular system is recommended.

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