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Soluble endothelial adhesion molecules and inflammation markers in patients with beta-thalassemia intermedia

, : Soluble endothelial adhesion molecules and inflammation markers in patients with beta-thalassemia intermedia. Blood Cells, Molecules & Diseases 43(3): 230-234

The term thalassemia intermedia, indicates a clinical condition of intermediate severity between thalassaemia minor, the asymptomatic carrier, and thalassaemia major, the transfusion-dependent, severe form. Thromboembolic events frequently complicate the outcome of thalassemia intermedia patients, reflecting a hypercoagulable state to which endothelial activation is believed to play an important role. The aim of this study was to evaluate the levels of soluble endothelial adhesion molecules that reflect endothelial activation and dysfunction and levels of chronic inflammation markers in the serum of beta-thalassemia intermedia patients. Thirty-five Greek patients with beta-thalassemia intermedia that have received different types of treatment (Hydroxyurea, splenectomy, untreated), aged 8-63 years, were included in the study. Twenty apparently healthy individuals matched for age and sex, formed the control group. Measurements of sVCAM-1, sICAM-1, sTM, P-selectin, E-selectin and CRP levels were performed using immunoassays. We found that all endothelial adhesion molecules and CRP were significantly increased in patients (p<0.001) and not influenced by treatment. A negative correlation was observed between levels of sICAM-1 and sTM and this finding agrees with the results of studies, which propose this correlation as a predictive marker of increased risk for vascular damage. No correlation was observed between endothelial adhesion molecules and inflammation markers. These findings support the hypothesis that a serious degree of endothelial activation and damage along with a state of chronic inflammation underlie the pathophysiology of beta-thalassemia intermedia. Furthermore, these findings are of particular importance in patients who can otherwise be characterized by a subtle clinical phenotype and may have an important role in their clinical care.


PMID: 19654073

DOI: 10.1016/j.bcmd.2009.06.002

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