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    Arthropathies and bone deformities are well known to occur in patients with thalassemia major and have been attributed to the disease or to its therapy. Before the advent of chelation therapy, these children developed widened diploic space and "hair-on-end" pattern in skull, "cobweb" pattern in the pelvis, and the lack of the normal concave outline in the long bones because of extensive marrow proliferation. After the introduction of iron-chelation therapy, these patients were noted to develop metaphyseal abnormalities and vertebral changes resembling spondylo-metaphyseal dysplasia. Only one study has shown some association of deferiprone (chelating agent) use with distal ulnar changes in these children. Our study was done to describe the skeletal changes and deformities in wrist joints of children with transfusion-dependent thalassemia and correlate them with age, mean pretransfusion hemoglobin level, mean serum ferritin level, and type and duration of chelation therapy in these children. A total of 60 children with transfusion-dependent thalassemia from the thalassemia daycare center were examined. These children were divided into 3 groups on the basis of their age (group A: 2 to 6 y, group B: 6 to 10 y, and group C: 10 to 14 y). Detailed history, including treatment history, number of blood transfusions received over the last 1 year, clinical examination, and radiologic assessment of both forearm with wrists were done. The clinical and radiologic differences in radial and ulnar lengths increased significantly with the increasing age of these patients, the ulna being short. There was some correlation between increasing negative ulnar variance and distal radial articular angle with deferiprone consumption. Chelation therapy, particularly with deferiprone, may cause distal ulnar growth arrest causing ulnar shortening and progressive radial bowing in these children. Level IV-case series.


    Pawan Dhawan, Rajesh K Kanojia, Jagdish Chandra, Ajay Kumar, Rama Anand, Sumit Gupta. Wrist Joint Skeletal Changes in Children With Transfusion-dependent Thalassemia. Journal of pediatric orthopedics. 2020 Jul;40(6):e473-e478

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    PMID: 32501918

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