Background: Cutaneous manifestations can be found in many patients with hematologic disorders, including thalassemia.
Methods: Patients with beta-thalassemia major attending the pediatric department of Fayoum University Hospital from April 2016 to October 2016 (n = 100) were compared with controls (n = 100). Both groups underwent detailed history evaluation, clinical examination, and laboratory investigations, including complete blood count, liver and kidney function, serum ferritin, and thyroid profile. A single dermatologist conducted a clinical dermatologic examination for all participants.
Results: Children with thalassemia had a greater prevalence of xerosis (72%), pruritus (52%), idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis (22%), urticaria (16%), ephelides (freckles; 13%), and scars (13%) than controls (P ≤ .001). We detected a significant relationship between serum ferritin and pruritus, xerosis, ephelides, idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis, urticaria, and age of patients with thalassemia (P < .05). Children without thyroid abnormalities were more likely to have xerosis, pruritus, idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis, urticaria, and ephelides (86%) than controls (P < .05). Although there was no significant difference in skin findings between patients who did and did not receive chelating agents (P > .05), a significant association was found between xerosis and the use of deferoxamine and deferiprone, whereas ephelides and urticaria were more common in patients receiving deferasirox.
Conclusion: Because cutaneous manifestations are common in Egyptian patients with beta thalassemia major, regular dermatologic follow-up is recommended for early management.
Keywords: cutaneous; ferritin; thalassemia; thyroid profile.
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.