Effects of iron- chelation therapy intensification on glucose homeostasis during 3-h oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia patients (β-TDT)

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Effects of iron- chelation therapy intensification on glucose homeostasis during 3-h oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia patients (β-TDT)


  • Vincenzo De Sanctis Quisisana Hospital, Ferrara
  • Shahina Daar Department of Hematology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
  • Ashraf Soliman Department of Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  • Saveria Campisi UOSD Thalassemia, Umberto I Hospital, Siracusa, Italy
  • Ploutarchos Tzoulis Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Whittington Hospital, University College London, London, UK


Transfusion-dependent thalassemia, iron overload, intensification chelation therapy, OGTT, follow-up


Background: Iron overload (IOL) due to chronic transfusion therapy in β-thalassemia major (β-TDT) patients leads to multi-organ damage, including glucose dysregulation (GD). The effectiveness of intensified iron chelation therapy (ICT) on glucose homeostasis and its ability to reverse iron-induced endocrinopathies is not fully understood. Objectives: To assess the effects of intensified ICT on glucose homeostasis, insulin secretion, and sensitivity in adolescent and very young adult β-TDT patients with moderate to severe IOL. Methods: This retrospective study evaluated 19 β-TDT patients who underwent intensified ICT with the aim of reducing serum ferritin (SF) to 500-1,000 ng/mL. Over a median follow-up of 4.2 years, parameters including oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), insulin response, and serum ferritin levels were analyzed. Results: Despite a marked reduction in SF and IOL, the prevalence of GD remained unchanged (P= 0.75). Some patients showed improvement in glucose tolerance, whereas other developed new endocrine disorders, such as hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and secondary amenorrhea. Improvements were seen in insulin sensitivity, but not in pancreatic β-cell function. Conclusion: Intensified ICT in β-TDT patients, albeit effectively reducing iron burden, did not uniformly reverse established glucose homeostasis disorders. While some endocrine functions improved, others deteriorated or developed a new complication, suggesting that more aggressive or prolonged ICT may be necessary. Long-term studies are required to better understand the impact of ICT on endocrine organ function. (www.actabiomedica.it)


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How to Cite

De Sanctis V, Daar S, Soliman A, Campisi S, Tzoulis P. Effects of iron- chelation therapy intensification on glucose homeostasis during 3-h oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia patients (β-TDT). Acta Biomed [Internet]. [cited 2024 Jul. 20];95(4):e2024112. Available from: https://www.mattioli1885journals.com/index.php/actabiomedica/article/view/16013




How to Cite

De Sanctis V, Daar S, Soliman A, Campisi S, Tzoulis P. Effects of iron- chelation therapy intensification on glucose homeostasis during 3-h oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia patients (β-TDT). Acta Biomed [Internet]. [cited 2024 Jul. 20];95(4):e2024112. Available from: https://www.mattioli1885journals.com/index.php/actabiomedica/article/view/16013