Relationship Between Serum Hepcidin and Ferritin Levels in Patients With Thalassemia Major and Intermedia in Southern Iran
Background: Hepcidin is a key regulator of iron absorption in humans. It is mainly affected by hypoxia and iron stores.
Objectives: The current study aimed to determine the correlation between serum hepcidin and ferritin levels in patients with Thalassemia Major (TM) and Thalassemia Intermedia (TI).
Patients and methods: The current cross-sectional study investigated 88 randomly selected patients with Thalassemia, 48 TM and 40 TI, registered at the Thalassemia Clinic of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, a referral center for Thalassemia in Southern Iran in 2013. All patients with TI were receiving Hydroxyurea (HU) 10 - 15 mg/kg/day for at least 10 years. The serum hepcidin, ferritin levels, hemoglobin (Hb) and nucleated Red Blood Cell (RBC) of the two groups were measured.
Results: No statistically significant correlation was observed between serum hepcidin and ferritin levels in any of the two groups of patients with TM (rs = 0.02, P = 0.892) or TI (rs = 0.055, P = 0.734). The median Interquartile Range (IQR) for serum hepcidin and ferritin levels were significantly higher in TM compared to TI group, (hepcidin: 87.6 (43.9) vs. 51.8 (23.4), P < 0.001; ferritin: 2208 (3761) vs. 465 (632), P < 0.001).
Conclusions: There was insignificant correlation between serum hepcidin and ferritin levels in the two groups of patients with TM and TI. It seems that regulation of hepcidin in patients with Thalassemia is more affected by erythropoeitic activity than iron stores. Also, hepcidin levels were significantly higher in patients with TM than TI, possibly due to higher erythropoeitic activity in TI. In TI, it seems that low dose HU increases Hb levels and leads to transfusion-independence, but it is not high enough to suppress bone marrow activity and ineffective erythropoiesis. Consequently, serum hepcidin level decreases.
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by Oleg Vishnevski | Jul 1, 2015