Liver enzymes in children with beta-Thalassemia major: Correlation with iron overload and viral hepatitis

Khaled Nabil Salama*, Ola M. Ibrahim, Ahmed M. Kaddah, Samia Boseila, Leila Abu Ismail, May M. Abdel Hamid

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Beta Thalassemia is the most common chronic hemolytic anemia in Egypt (85.1%) with an estimated carrier rate of 9-10.2%. Injury to the liver, whether acute or chronic, eventually results in an increase in serum concentrations of Alanine transaminase (ALT) and Aspartate transaminase (AST). AIM: Evaluating the potentiating effect of iron overload & viral hepatitis infection on the liver enzymes. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Eighty (80) thalassemia major patients were studied with respect to liver enzymes, ferritin, transferrin saturation, HBsAg, anti-HCV antibody and HCV-PCR for anti-HCV positive patients. RESULTS: Fifty % of the patients were anti-HCV positive and 55% of them were HCV-PCR positive. Patients with elevated ALT and AST levels had significantly higher mean serum ferritin than those with normal levels. Anti-HCV positive patients had higher mean serum ferritin, serum ALT, AST and GGT levels and higher age and duration of blood transfusion than the negative group. HCV-PCR positive patients had higher mean serum ferritin and serum ALT and also higher age and duration of blood transfusion than the negative group. CONCLUSION: Iron overload is a main leading cause of elevated liver enzymes, and presence of HCV infection is significantly related to the increased iron overload.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-292
Number of pages6
JournalMacedonian Journal of Medical Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Beta thalassemia
  • Egyptian children
  • Iron overload
  • Liver enzymes
  • Viral hepatitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this