The Effect of Combination Iron Chelating Agents on Reducing the Severity Grading of Heart and Liver Iron Overload in β-Thalassemia Patients

Deferasirox (DFX), Deferoxamine (DFO), and Deferiprone (DFP) are iron chelators that can be used in thalassemic patients with iron overload.

Materials and Methods

This clinical trial was performed on 108 thalassemic patients who were randomly divided into group A (n=54) and B (n=54). Group A received combination of DFX and DFP, and group B received DFO and DFP for six months. Serum ferritin level was measured at the beginning of the study, 3, and 6 months after the treatment; The heart and liver iron deposition rates were also measured at the beginning of the study, and 6 months after the treatment  in both groups and compared using Magnetic Resonance Imaging T2 plus (MRI T2*).


The mean age of patients in group A and B was 17.29±4.3 and 17.89±5.61 years old, respectively. Serum ferritin level significantly reduced after the treatment (Serum ferritin level at baseline, 3, and 6 months after the treatment in Group A: 2476.25±1289.32, 2089.62±1051.64 and 1290.22±724.78 ng/ml, respectively; in Group B: 2044.63±989.82, 1341.30±887.62 and 1229.41±701.22 ng/ml, respectively) (p<0.01, for both groups). MRI T2* heart and liver was also improved at the end of the study in both groups (p<0.01, for both groups). However, the combination of DFO/DFP significantly decreased severity grades of liver iron deposition in comparison to DFX/DFP regimen after six months (p<0.01).


The results of the present study indicated that both combination therapies of DFO/DFP and DFX/DFP could improve heart and liver MRI T2*. However, DFO/DFP combination therapy was more effective in reducing the severity grades of liver iron deposition.

Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Iranian Journal of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Volume:9 Issue:4, 2019
244 - 252  
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