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Pregnancy in women with thalassemia: challenges and solutions

Authors Petrakos G, Andriopoulos P, Tsironi M

Received 5 April 2016

Accepted for publication 14 July 2016

Published 8 September 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 441—451


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Elie Al-Chaer

George Petrakos, Panagiotis Andriopoulos, Maria Tsironi

Department of Nursing, University of Peloponnese, Sparta, Greece

Abstract: Advances in treatment of thalassemia have led to the aging of thalassemic patients, and consequently concern about successful reproductive outcome is augmented. Although women with thalassemia intermedia only were considered competent of achieving pregnancy, case series reveal the willingness of both thalassemia major and thalassemia intermedia women to have a family. Pregnancy in general is characterized by dynamic multiple-system changes and increased susceptibility to oxidative stress, while homozygous, transfusion-dependent, β-thalassemia patients manifest cardiac, hepatic, endocrine, and metabolic disorders attributable to chronic anoxia and iron overload and thalassemia intermedia, usually nontransfused, is associated with augmented risk of thromboembolic events. Pregnancy in thalassemia should be considered a high risk for both mother and fetus, and favorable outcomes are the result of continuous preconception, antenatal, and postpartum assessment and management by a team of thalassemia experts.

Keywords: thalassemia, pregnancy, chelation, transfusion, iron

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