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Background :Serum haptoglobin (Hp) is a reliable marker for hemolysis regardless the inflammatory state. Objective: We investigated the possible relation between Hp depletion and hemolysis severity, hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and iron load in β-thalassemia children. Methods: Twenty two β-thalassemia major (TM) ,20 β-thalassemia intermedia (TI) children with 20 age and sex matched healthy controls were involved. Pre-transfusion hemoglobin level was considered . Serum ferritin , Hp and transferrin receptor levels (sTfR) (by ELISA ) , alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) (by colorimetric method) were assayed. Markers of hepatitis C virus (HCV) were done by PCR. Results: The mean Hp levels among the studied groups were as follows; 8.02 ± 0.93 (mg/dl) , 8.6 ±0.72 (mg/dl) and 122 ± 18.5(mg/dl) for TM ,TI and the controls respectively . Both patient groups had significantly lower Hp level compared to the controls (P<0.0001) with significant lower level in TM compared to TI children ( P= 0.034) .Significant inverse correlations were found between serum Hp and sTfR levels in thalassemia children combined and in each group (TM and TI) as well as among HCV infected children. STfR was the only significant independent predictor for serum Hp level (t= -5.585 , P<0.0001) . Among HCV infected patients , no significant correlation was found between serum Hp and serum transaminases .Conclusion: Serum Hp depletion in thalassemia had significant relation to disease severity and correlated well with their erythropoietic activity, as assessed by the measurement of sTfR without significant relation HCV infection . Large sample multicenter studies are recommended.
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