A study of growth pattern in regularly transfused thalassaemic children of age group of 2 years to 12 years


  • Shriharsha Badiger Department of Paediatrics, SDM Medical College, Dharwad, Karnataka, India
  • Aditi Baruah Department of Paediatrics, AMCH, Dibrugarh, Assam, India




Growth, Thalassemia, Transfusion


Background: ß-thalassemia is an autosomal recessive single gene disorder. Physical growth failure is one of the most important complications of thalassemia. Very few data regarding growth pattern of thalassemic children is available from India especially North East part. Keeping this in mind, present study was undertaken. To study the growth pattern of transfusion dependent thalassaemic children and to compare growth pattern between regularly and irregularly transfused children.

Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was done on 38 thalassaemic patients (aged 2 years-12 years) who attended Department of Pediatrics, Assam Medical College Dibrugarh. History, physical examination and investigations were done and filled in predesigned proforma.  Anthropometric measurements like weight and height were taken from all patients. Sexual maturity rating was done in girls ≥10 years and boys ≥11 years. Lab parameters included pre-transfusion hemoglobin (Hb), serum ferritin, LFT, RFT, Thyroid profile. Percentile for weight, height and body mass index were calculated using WHO (2007) reference data. Collected data were compared with age and sex matched normal children.

Results: About 34.21% transfusion dependent children had under-nutrition and 50% had stunting. 42% had thinness. Stunting was more in irregularly transfused children (81.25%) as compared to regularly transfused children which was highly significant (p<0.001). Under-nutrition among irregularly transfused children was more (40%) compared to regularly transfused children (28.57%). Pubertal spurt was delayed in 66% children. Those who had Hb <5 gm/dl had 100% stunting and under-nutrition.

Conclusions: Regular blood transfusion with growth monitoring and appropriate iron chelation (Sr. Ferritin >1000 ng/ml) is of utmost importance in transfusion dependent thalassaemic children.


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