Major risk of blood transfusion in hemolytic anemia patients

Nagla Omar, Khaled Salama, Sonya Adolf, Gamila S.M. El-Saeed, Nagwa Abdel Ghaffar, Nivin Ezzat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Thalassemia is a congenital hemolytic disease caused by defective globin synthesis treated by blood transfusion. Transfusion-transmitted infections still make a great challenge in the management of patients with thalassemia major. The most important worldwide transfusion-transmitted infections are hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV. The objective of this study is to update the prevalence of the three major transfusion-transmitted infections HCV, HBV and HIV among thalassemic patients followed up in the Hematology Department, Children Hospital, Cairo University. The study included 174 multitransfused thalassemic patients (162 major and 12 intermedia), registered at the Pediatric Hematology Clinic, Cairo University. Their age ranged from 2 to 27 years with a mean of 11.26 ± 5.4 years. Patients were subjected to full history taking, stressing on history of blood transfusions (onset, frequency and duration) at a single or multiple centers and abdominal examination. Laboratory investigations including complete blood count, aminotransferases (aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase), ferritin and viral markers of HBV surface antigen (HBsAg), HCV antibodies (anti-HCV) and anti-HIV were assayed for all cases by a third-generation ELISA method. HCV PCR was performed for 75 cases. Of the 174 patients, none of them were HBsAg and anti-HIV positive. However, 90 patients were anti-HCV positive (51.7%). HCV PCR was positive in 56 patients (74.3%) of the 75 with positive antibody tested. HCV antibody positivity is statistically significant with age of the patient, serum ferritin and liver transaminases (P < 0.01). HCV-RNA by PCR positivity was significantly related to patients? age and serum ferritin (P < 0.05). Serum ferritin showed statistically significant positive correlation with liver transaminases. Despite the decrease in prevalence of HCV antibody in our patients from 71% in 1995 to 51.7% in our study, yet HCV infection still represents a major health problem for our thalassemic patients, which requires more attention and efforts to challenge. There is a dramatic decrease in the prevalence of HBV infection over the last decade, thanks to mass compulsory vaccination and blood screening. HIV infection does not represent a problem owing to very low population prevalence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-284
Number of pages5
JournalBlood Coagulation and Fibrinolysis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • HIV
  • hepatitis B
  • hepatitis C
  • seroprevalence
  • β-thalassemia major

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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