Objectives: The randomized comparison of deferasirox to deferoxamine for myocardial iron removal in patients with transfusion-dependent anemias (CORDELIA) gave the opportunity to assess relative prevalence and body distribution of iron overload in screened patients.
Methods: Patients aged ≥ 10 yr with transfusion-dependent anemias from 11 countries were screened. Data were summarized descriptively, overall and across regions.
Results: Among 925 patients (99.1% with β-thalassemia major; 98.5% receiving prior chelation; mean age 19.2 yr), 36.7% had myocardial iron overload (myocardial T2* ≤ 20 ms), 12.1% had low left ventricular ejection fraction. Liver iron concentration (LIC) (mean 25.8 mg Fe/g dw) and serum ferritin (median 3702 ng/mL) were high. Fewer patients in the Middle East (ME; 28.5%) had myocardial T2* ≤ 20 ms vs. patients in the West (45.9%) and Far East (FE, 40.9%). Patients in the West had highest myocardial iron burden, but lowest LIC (26.9% with LIC < 7 mg Fe/g dw) and serum ferritin. Among patients with normal myocardial iron, a higher proportion of patients from the ME and FE had LIC ≥ 15 than < 7 mg Fe/g dw (ME, 56.7% vs. 17.2%; FE, 78.6% vs. 7.8%, respectively), a trend which was less evident in the West (44.6% vs. 33.9%, respectively). Transfusion and chelation practices differed between regions.
Conclusions: Evidence of substantial myocardial and liver iron burden across regions revealed a need for optimization of effective, convenient iron chelation regimens. Significant regional variation exists in myocardial and liver iron loading that are not well explained; improved understanding of factors contributing to differences in body iron distribution may be of clinical benefit.
Keywords: distribution; heart; iron; liver; prevalence; thalassemia.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.