Total antioxidant capacity in Mediterranean β-thalassemic patients

Adv Clin Exp Med. 2017 Aug;26(5):789-793. doi: 10.17219/acem/63746.


Background: Beta thalassemia major (BT) is an inherited blood disorder caused by reduced or absent synthesis of the hemoglobin beta chains, associated with profound anemia, jaundice, splenomegaly, expanded bone marrow volume, siderosis and cardiomegaly. Because of repeated blood transfusions, BT patients are subjected to peroxidative tissue injury due to secondary iron overload.

Objectives: The aim of the study was to analyze: 1) the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) value in BT patients (study group) and their healthy controls (control group) from Greece (Central Macedonia) and Italy (Sardinia); correlations between 2) the TAC and ferritin levels of BT patients, and 3) the TAC and ferritin values in BT patients with different chelation therapies.

Material and methods: The studied group consisted of 60 subjects diagnosed with BT (41 female, mean age: 41.5 ± 9.5 years) and 40 healthy controls matched with age and sex (31 female, mean age: 38.5 ± 3.7 years). Desferrioxamine (DFO) was the basic previous chelation regimen for all BT patients. Antioxidant activity was assayed spectrophotometrically, using a TAC Kit (Total Antioxidant Capacity Colorimetric assay kit, produced by Cayman Chemical Co.), and ferritin was assayed by immunoturbidimetry.

Results: Lower levels of TAC were observed in BT patients of both countries when compared with controls (1.83 mmol/L vs 2.7 mmol/L in the Italian study group and controls and 2.42 mmol/L vs 3.2 mmol/L in the Greek study group and controls). There were no significant correlations between plasmatic TAC and ferritin. Furthermore, deferasirox was the only chelation treatment in which TAC showed a correlation in both regions.

Conclusions: Our results potentially suggest that the reduced levels of TAC detectable in BT patients could demonstrate their reduced antioxidant defensive mechanisms.

Keywords: Mediterranean countries; chelation therapies; oxidative stress; total antioxidant capacity; β-thalassemia major.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Deferoxamine / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Ferritins / blood
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Iron Chelating Agents / therapeutic use
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • beta-Thalassemia / blood*
  • beta-Thalassemia / diagnosis
  • beta-Thalassemia / drug therapy
  • beta-Thalassemia / epidemiology


  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Iron Chelating Agents
  • Ferritins
  • Deferoxamine