Efficacy of Hydroxyurea in Transfusion-Dependent Major β-Thalassemia Patients: A Meta-Analysis

Internal Medicine, King Abdullah University Hospital, Amman, JOR. Medicine, University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, Las Piñas, PHL. Medical Education, Smt. Nathiba Hargovandas Lakhmichand (NHL) Municipal Medical College, Ahmedabad, IND. Internal Medicine, Tirunelveli Medical College, Tirunelveli, IND. Internal Medicine, Siddhartha Medical College, Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences, Vijaywada, IND. Pediatrics, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, SAU. Medicine, Services Institute of Medical Sciences, Lahore, PAK. Cardiology, Baqai Hospital, Karachi, PAK.

Cureus. 2023;15(4):e38135
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Abstract
The present meta-analysis was conducted to determine the efficacy of hydroxyurea in patients with transfusion dependent major β-thalassemia. The present meta-analysis was conducted following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) and Meta-analyses of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE) guidelines. A systematic search was carried out to evaluate the efficacy of hydroxyurea in patients with transfusion-dependent B-thalassaemia using electronic databases, including MEDLINE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and EMBASE. The keywords used to search for relevant studies included "hydroxyurea", "thalassemia", "transfusion-dependent", and "efficacy". Outcomes assessed in the present meta-analysis included transfusion in one year and intervals between transfusions (in days). Other outcomes assessed in the present meta-analysis were fetal hemoglobin (%), hemoglobin (%), and ferritin levels (ng/dl). Total of five studies were included in the analysis enrolling 294 patients with major B-thalassemia. The pooled analysis reported that the mean interval between transfusions was significantly higher in patients receiving hydroxyurea compared to those not receiving hydroxyurea (mean deviation {MD}: 10.07, 95% CI: 2.16, 17.99). Hemoglobin was significantly higher in patients receiving hydroxyurea compared to its counterparts (MD: 1.71, 95% CI: 0.84, 2.57). Patients receiving hydroxyurea had significantly lower ferritin levels compared to those not receiving hydroxyurea (MD: -299.65, 95% CI: -518.35, -80.96). These findings suggest that hydroxyurea may be a promising and cost-effective alternative to blood transfusions and iron chelation therapies for beta-thalassemia patients. However, the authors noted that further randomized controlled trials are needed to validate these findings and to determine the optimal dosages and treatment regimens for hydroxyurea in this patient population.
Study details
Study Design : Systematic Review
Language : eng
Credits : Bibliographic data from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine