Objective: To investigate platelet functions and measure soluble CD40 ligand, soluble P-selectin, beta-thromboglobulin and platelet factor 4 levels in the blood of heterozygous beta thalassemia patients.
Methods: The cross-sectional case-control study was conducted at Bezmialem Vakif University, Istanbul, Turkey, between September 2013 and April 2014, and comprised heterozygous beta thalassemia patients who were compared with 41 gender-, age- and body mass index-matched controls for platelet function markers. The two groups were also compared for co-morbidities, smoking, and regular medications.
Results: Of the 78(78.78) subjects, 50(64%) were women and 28(36%) men with an overall mean age of 39.4±12.7 years (range: 18-79 years). The mean body mass index was 26.3±4.2. The heterozygous beta thalassemia group included 37(47%) subjects [24(65%) females; 13(35%) males] while the control group had 41(53%) [26(63%) females; 15(37%) males]. Soluble CD40 ligand and soluble P-selectin were lower in the heterozygous beta thalassemia group (p=0.009; p=0.010). Beta-thromboglobulin and platelet factor 4 levels were comparable between the groups (p=0.497; p=0.507.).
Conclusions: Some platelet functions may be reduced in heterozygous beta thalassemia patients, which may be related to their lower incidence of cerebral and cardiac ischaemic events.
Keywords: P-Selectin, CD40 ligand, Beta thromboglobulin, Platelet factor 4, Heterozygous beta thalassemia.