Osteoporosis in thalassemia major: an update and the I-CET 2013 recommendations for surveillance and treatment.

Vincenzo De Sanctis, Ashraf T. Soliman, Heba Elsedfy, Mohamed Yassin, Duran Canatan, Yurdanur Kilinc, Praveen Sobti, Nicos Skordis, Mehran Karimi, Giuseppe Raiola, Maria Concetta Galati, Elsaid Bedair, Bernadette Fiscina, Mohamed El Kholy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, the issue of osteopenia/osteoporosis in children, adolescents and young adults with thalassaemia major (TM) has attracted much attention because it is a prominent cause of morbidity despite adequate transfusion and iron chelation therapy. The reported frequency of osteoporosis, even in well treated TM patients varies from 13.6% to 50% with an additional 45% affected by osteopenia. The pathogenesis of TM-induced osteoporosis is multifactorial. Genetic and acquired factors play role in demineralization of bones in thalassemia. Osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mass and disruption of bone architecture, resulting in reduced bone strength and increased risk of fractures. The significant predictors of fracture prevalence include male gender, hypothyroidism, age, lack of spontaneous puberty in females, active hepatitis, heart disease and diabetes. The early identification of osteopenia and osteoporosis is of paramount importance. This is because delayed diagnosis and inadequate treatment have led to severe osteoporosis, skeletal abnormalities, fractures, spinal deformities, nerve compression and growth failure. dequate hormonal replacement, has been posponed, Effective iron chelation adequate hormonal replacement, improvement of hemoglobin levels, calcium and vitamin D administration and physical activity are currently the main measures for the management of the disease. The use of bisphosphonates in TM patients with osteoporosis is increasing and their positive effect in improving bone mineral density is encouraging. The recommendations of the International Network on Growth Disorders and Endocrine Complications in Thalassaemia (I-CET) for diagnosis and management of osteoporosis in TM are also briefly included in this review.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-180
Number of pages14
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'Osteoporosis in thalassemia major: an update and the I-CET 2013 recommendations for surveillance and treatment.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this