Impaired neutrophil chemotaxis in patients with thalassaemia major

Br J Haematol. 1993 Sep;85(1):153-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.1993.tb08659.x.


Random and directed migration, O2- production, degranulation and adhesion were studied in neutrophils obtained from patients with homozygous beta-thalassaemia and iron overload, in the presence or absence of thalassaemic serum. The only significant defect found was an impairment in directed chemotaxis, further depressed after addition of thalassaemic serum. The chemotactic defect was encountered in all the patients that have suffered from pyogenic infections except one, and was not correlated with the severity of the iron overload. It is suggested that the described neutrophil migration impairment may contribute to the tendency towards infection in certain patients with homozygous beta-thalassaemia.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / physiology*
  • Child
  • Ferritins / blood
  • Humans
  • Muramidase / metabolism
  • Neutrophils / cytology
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Neutrophils / physiology
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • beta-Thalassemia / blood*


  • Superoxides
  • Ferritins
  • Muramidase