International Journal of Hematology

DOI: 10.1007/s12185-018-2411-9 Pages: 5-21

β-Thalassemia intermedia: a comprehensive overview and novel approaches

1. Institute of Hematology and Transfusiology

2. Thalassemia Centre

Correspondence to:
Chingiz Asadov
Tel: +994 124403561
Email: asadovchingiz@gmail.com

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Abstract

β-Thalassemia intermedia is a clinical condition of intermediate gravity between β-thalassemia minor, the asymptomatic carrier, and β-thalassemia major, the transfusion-dependent severe anemia. It is characterized by a significant clinical polymorphism, which is attributable to its genetic heterogeneity. Ineffective erythropoiesis, chronic anemia, and iron overload contribute to the clinical complications of thalassemia intermedia through stepwise pathophysiological mechanisms. These complications, including splenomegaly, extramedullary erythropoiesis, iron accumulation, leg ulcers, thrombophilia, and bone abnormalities can be managed via fetal hemoglobin induction, occasional transfusions, chelation, and in some cases, stem cell transplantation. Given its clinical diversity, thalassemia intermedia patients require tailored approaches to therapy. Here we present an overview and novel approaches to the genetic basis, pathophysiological mechanisms, clinical complications, and optimal management of thalassemia intermedia.

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