24 Jun 2021

Supachai Ekwattanakit, Chattree Hantaweepant, Archrob Khuhapinant, Noppadol Siritanaratkul & Vip Viprakasit


Based on Thalassemia International Federation clinical practice guidelines (CPG) for non-transfusion dependent and transfusion dependent thalassemia, several measures should be routinely implemented such as monitoring and surveillance of thalassemia related complications for early detection and proper clinical management. To evaluate the prevalence and the performance of routine surveillance for thalassemia related complications during 2 periods; before and after published CPGs (2012–2014 vs 2015–2017), data from 524 adult thalassemia patients attended at Siriraj hospital were compared among different treating physician groups; thalassemia, private hematology, and internal medicine clinics. Three most common complications were osteopenia/osteoporosis (69.8%), gallstones (67.6%) and abnormal vitamin D level (67.6%). Iron overload has been widely evaluated (93.1%) followed by liver function test (82.3%). However, the rate of evaluation for other complications were significantly reduced and < 25% of patients were evaluated in several complications. Comparing among clinics, the surveillance rate has increased significantly for several endocrine complications only in patients treated at thalassemia clinic but not in others. This study was the first study that evaluated real-world practical management of thalassemia patient in terms of complication surveillance. This different clinical practice has called for an immediate policy change to improve and standardize a care for thalassemia patients in Thailand.