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Gehan Lotfy Abdel Hakeem
hoda Abdel kereem Abdel Samei
Ashraf mohamed El Shereif
Ahlam mohamed ismail


carotid Doppler, thalasssemia, iron overload, atherosclerosis.


Iron over- load in patients with beta-thalassemia major lead to alterations in the arterial structures and in the thickness of the carotid arteries. Doppler ultrasound scanning of extra-cranial internal carotid arteries is non-invasive and fairly quick to perform and may identify children at increased risk of stroke who would otherwise be missed. Increased carotid artery intima media thickness (cIMT) is a structural marker for early atherosclerosis and it correlates with the vascular risk factors and to the severity and extent of coronary artery disease.

Objective: To evaluate the role of carotid Doppler examination and cIMT measurement as a predictive to atherosclerotic changes in  BTM children with iron overload

 Patients and Methods: Sixty two children with (BTM) and 30 healthy normal controls of matched age and sex were included. Complete blood count, serum iron, ferritin, serum cholesterol and hemoglobin electrophoresis were performed as well as carotid Doppler ultrasonography to measure the (cIMT) in both patients and controls. Results: By using carotid Doppler we found that cIMT of thalassemic patients was significantly increased compared to normal controls and there was significant positive correlation between CIMT and patient's age, weight, height, BMI, duration of illness, serum cholesterol, iron overload parameters as serum iron, serum ferritin, frequent blood transfusion, irregular use of iron chelating agents and in those who had splenectomy. Significant negative correlation was found between CIMT and hematocrit value but no significant correlation was found between CIMT and Hb level. Conclusion:  Carotid  Doppler is very useful method in measurement of cIMT that increased in thalassemic patients which  shows a strong relationship with features of iron overload. We recommend the routine use of Doppler measurement of cIMT in these patients to predict early atherosclerotic changes as well as in the follow-up to prevent progression of atherosclerosis. 


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