Frequency of silent brain lesions and aspirin protection evaluation over 3 years follow-up in beta thalassemia patients
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Silent brain lesions might be associated with overt cerebrovascular accident over time in beta thalassemia major (BTM) and intermediate (BTI). Aspirin may be protective in these patients. We evaluated brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in thalassemia patients to see whether aspirin is protective or not. A historical cohort study was conducted on 35 thalassemia patients, 22 BTI, and 13 BTM patients at Shiraz Hematology Research Center in 2018. Median age of the patients was 32 years and ranged from 8 to 42 years. Twenty-four patients (68.6%) were females. Overall frequency of white matter lesions (WMLs) in the first MRI was 10 patients (28.6%). After 3 years, 3 patients developed new lesions and the frequency of WMLs was 13 patients (37.1%) in the second MRI. Moreover, in 3 patients, number of WMLs increased. Patients with new lesions or more lesions compared to the baseline were significantly older than the other group (median age 36.5 years vs. 31 years, P = 0.046). Regarding aspirin consumption, only 1 patient (16.7%) of patients with new lesions was using aspirin compared to 10 (34.5%) of the other group (P = 0.640). The high-risk patients with thrombocytosis, splenectomy, severe iron overload, and older age (> 30 years) should be under close follow-up and evaluated on a regular periodic basis as well as brain MRI at least once every 3 years. Aspirin could be protective against new or progressive brain lesions so that low-dose aspirin is recommended in high-risk thalassemia patients.
KeywordsAspirin Beta thalassemia Silent brain lesions
I would like to express my appreciation to Professor Eliezer A Rachmilewitz who provided valuable collaboration and support to this research, but sadly passed away before finishing this study. Peace be upon him.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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