Background: In recent years, the success in management of thalassemic patients, has allowed for some previously unrecognized complications including renal abnormalities to emerge. This prospective study aimed to investigate kidney iron overload by means of MRI T2* and also renal function based on laboratory tests for early markers of glomerular and tubular dysfunction among adult Iranian transfusion-dependent thalassemia major patients. Subjects and Methods: Two-hundred and two patients with transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia major were included in this study in Zafar Adult Thalassemia Center, Tehran, Iran. For all patients, kidney MRI T2* as well as evaluation of BUN, creatinine, uric acid, calcium, phosphorus, sodium (Na), potassium (K), total protein, albumin, cystatin C, serum ferritin β2-microglobulin, NAG (N-acetyl-beta-D-Glucosaminidase), and urine protein were performed. Results: One-hundred and fourteen female and 88 male transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia major patients with mean age of 30.1 ± 9.4 participated in the present study. We found that 77.7% of our patients had kidney hemosiderosis based on MRI T2*. Also, 67 patients (33.2%) had elevation of serum cystatin C, and 104 patients (51.5%) had reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (e-GFR). Increased urinary excretion of NAG and hypercalciuria were found in 50% and 79.2% of participants, respectively. Conclusion: Renal hemosiderosis and asymptomatic renal dysfunction are prevalent among transfusion- dependent β-thalassemia major patients which necessitate regular screening with early markers of glomerular and tubular dysfunction. Further studies in order to investigate the correlation between renal hemosiderosis and early markers of kidney dysfunction among these patients are recommended.
Keywords: Iran; MRI T2*; Renal involvement; Transfusion; β-Thalassemia major.