Oxidative status and malondialdehyde in β-thalassaemia patients

Giuliana Cighetti, L. Duca, L. Bortone, S. Sala, I. Nava, G. Fiorelli, M. D. Cappellini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In β-thalassaemia syndromes, decreased or impaired biosynthesis of β-globin leads to accumulation of unpaired α-globin chains. Moreover, the iron overload in β-thalassaemia patients generates oxygen-free radicals and peroxidative tissue injury. The aim of this study was to detect and correlate iron overload parameters with the oxidative stress and the antioxidant capability in β-thalassaemia patients. Design: Serum iron, transferrin saturation, serum ferritin, nontransferrin-bound iron (NTBI), levels of serum free and total (free + bound) malondialdehyde (MDA) and total peroxyl radical-trapping antioxidant parameter (TRAP) were evaluated in 21 regularly transfused β-thalassaemia major (TM) patients, 13 untransfused β-thalassaemia intermedia (TI) patients and 17 healthy controls. Blood from the TM patients was drawn 48 h after the last desferoxamine (20-40 mg kg -1) infusion and just before transfusion. Results: Free and total MDA and NTBI levels were higher in the TM patients than in the TI. In the TM patients the free MDA levels correlated positively with serum iron (r = +0.3, P = 0.0006), whereas the total MDA correlated positively with NTBI (r = +0.45, P = 0.037). However, a negative correlation was observed between TRAP and NTBI (r = -0.4, P = 0.0006). In the TI patients there was no significant correlation between free or total MDA and TRAP or NTBI. Conclusions: Our results confirm the peroxidative status generated by iron overload in thalassaemia patients and highlight the rapid formation of marked amounts of free MDA despite the chelation therapy in TM patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Investigation
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2002


  • Iron overload
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Nontransferrin-bound iron
  • Thalassaemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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