Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Beta-thalassemia major is associated with increased cardiovascular risk, although the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We examined endothelial function and serum levels of inflammatory mediators in transfusion-dependent patients with beta-thalassemia major. METHODS: The study population consisted of 67 patients with homozygous beta-thalassemia major, (aged 24.6+/-0.7 years) and 71 healthy age and sex matched controls. Forearm blood flow was measured with gauge-strain plethysmography. Forearm vasodilatory response to reactive hyperemia (RH%) or to nitrate (NTG%) was expressed as the percentage change of forearm blood flow from baseline to the maximum flow during reactive hyperemia or sublingual nitroglycerin, respectively. Serum levels of interleukin 6 (IL-6), soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule (sVCAM-1) and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule (sICAM-1) were determined with ELISA. RESULTS: Patients had significantly lower levels of total cholesterol (125+/-4.5 vs. 207+/-7 mg/ml, p<0.01), ApoA1 (120+/-3 vs. 129+/-5 mg/ml, p<0.05), ApoB (60.5+/-2 vs. 95+/-4 mg/ml, p<0.01), ApoE (3+/-2 vs. 4+/-0.2 mg/ml, p<0.01) and Lp(a) (7.9+/-1.3 vs. 14.5+/-3.2 mg/ml, p<0.01) than controls. IL-6 levels were significantly higher in patients (3.03+/-0.31 pg/ml) than controls (1.15+/-0.15 pg/ml, p<0.01). Similarly, sVCAM-1 and sICAM-1 levels were significantly higher in patients (513+/-31 and 368+/-25.5 ng/ml, respectively) than controls (333+/-13.8 and 272+/-14.05 ng/ml, respectively, p<0.01 for both). Maximum hyperemic forearm blood flow and RH% were lower in patients (7.1+/-0.3 ml/100 ml tissue/min and 49+/-2.8%, respectively) than controls (8.26+/-0.32 ml/100 ml tissue/min and 86.3+/-5.57%, respectively, p<0.01 for both). CONCLUSIONS: Beta-thalassemia major is associated with impaired endothelial function and increased levels of IL-6, sVCAM-1 and sICAM-1, suggesting a potential role of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in the complications of the disease.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.ijcard.2004.12.025

Type

Journal article

Journal

Int J Cardiol

Publication Date

20/10/2005

Volume

105

Pages

80 - 84

Keywords

Apolipoprotein A-I, Apolipoproteins B, Apolipoproteins E, Blood Transfusion, Child Welfare, Child, Preschool, Cholesterol, Endothelium, Vascular, Female, Ferritins, Forearm, Humans, Infant, Infant Welfare, Inflammation Mediators, Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1, Interleukin-6, Male, Regional Blood Flow, Statistics as Topic, Treatment Outcome, Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1, Vasodilation, beta-Thalassemia