A systematic review of adherence to iron chelation therapy among children and adolescents with thalassemia
Annals of medicine. 2022;54(1):326-342
INTRODUCTION Iron chelation therapy (ICT) is essential to prevent complications of iron overload in patients with transfusion-dependent thalassaemia. However, there is currently no standard for how to best measure adherence to ICT, nor what level of adherence necessitates concern for poor outcomes, especially in paediatric patients. The objectives of this review are to identify rates of adherence to ICT, predictors of adherence, methods of measurement, and adherence-related health outcomes in children and adolescents. METHODS This review covers the literature published between 1980 and 2020 on ICT in thalassaemia that assessed adherence or compliance. Included studies reflect original research. The preferred reporting items of systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were followed for reporting results, and the findings were critically appraised with the Oxford Centre for Evidence-based Medicine criteria. RESULTS Of the 543 articles, 37 met the inclusion criteria. The most common methods of assessing adherence included patient self-report (n = 15/36, 41.7%), and pill count (n = 15/36, 41.7%), followed by subcutaneous medication monitoring (5/36, 13.8%) and prescription refills (n = 4/36, 11.1%). Study sizes ranged from 7 to 1115 participants. Studies reported adherence either in "categories" with different levels of adherence (n = 29) or "quantitatively" as a percentage of medication taken out of those prescribed (n = 7). Quantitatively, the percentage of adherence varied from 57% to 98.4% with a median of 89.5%. Five studies focussed on interventions, four of which were designed to improve adherence. Studies varied in sample size and methods of assessment, which prohibited performing a meta-analysis. CONCLUSIONS Due to a lack of clinical consensus on how adherence is defined, it is difficult to compare adherence to ICT in different studies. Future studies should be aimed at creating guidelines for assessing adherence and identifying suboptimal adherence. These future efforts will be crucial in informing evidence-based interventions to improve adherence and health outcomes in thalassaemia patients.Key messagesPredictive factors associated with ICT adherence in the paediatric population include age, social perception of ICT, social support, and side effects/discomfort.Increased adherence in the paediatric population is associated with decreased serum ferritin and improved cardiac, hepatic, and endocrine outcomes.Inadequate adherence to ICT is associated with increased lifetime health costs.There are few studies that focussed on interventions to increase adherence in the paediatric population, and the studies that do exist all focussed on different types of interventions; successful interventions focussed on consistent, long-term engagement with patients.
Medical and Non-medical Costs of Sickle Cell Disease and Treatments from a US Perspective: A Systematic Review and Landscape Analysis
PharmacoEconomics - open. 2022
BACKGROUND Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a complex genetic disorder that manifests in infancy and progresses throughout life in the form of acute and chronic complications. As the upfront costs of potentially curative, genetic therapies will likely be high, an assessment and comprehensive characterization of the medical and non-medical cost burden will inform future decision making. OBJECTIVE We sought to systematically summarize the existing literature surrounding SCD medical and non-medical costs. METHODS We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE (2008-2020) and identified US-based studies that detailed medical or non-medical costs. Eligible studies provided empirical estimates about any aspect of cost or SCD individuals of all ages and their caregivers. Study quality was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale, and costs were adjusted to 2019 US$. RESULTS Search queries returned 479 studies, with 342 from medical burden searches and 137 from non-medical burden searches, respectively. Herein, we report the results of the 40 studies that contained relevant cost information: 39 detailed medical costs and 1 detailed non-medical costs. Costs were higher for SCD patients when compared with non-SCD individuals (cost difference range: $6636-$63,436 annually). The highest medical cost component for SCD patients was inpatient ($11,978-$59,851 annually), followed by outpatient and then pharmacy. No studies characterized the cost burden throughout the lifetime disease trajectory of an SCD individual, and no studies captured caregiver or productivity costs. CONCLUSION Our results reveal an incomplete characterization of medical and non-medical costs within SCD. A deeper understanding of the medical and non-medical cost burden requires completion of additional studies that capture the burden across the patient's lifetime, in addition to expression of the impact of existing and emergent health technologies on disease trajectory.
A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial of oral hydroxyurea for transfusion-dependent β-thalassaemia
Scientific reports. 2022;12(1):2752
Hydroxyurea is an antimetabolite drug that induces fetal haemoglobin in sickle cell disease. However, its clinical usefulness in β-thalassaemia is unproven. We conducted a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of hydroxyurea in transfusion-dependent β-thalassaemia. Sixty patients were assigned 1:1 to oral hydroxyurea 10-20 mg/kg/day or placebo for 6 months by stratified block randomisation. Hydroxyurea treatment did not alter the blood transfusion volume overall. However, a significantly higher proportion of patients on hydroxyurea showed increases in fetal haemoglobin percentage (89% vs. 59%; p < 0.05) and reductions in erythropoietic stress as measured by soluble transferrin receptor concentration (79% vs. 40%; p < 0.05). Based on fetal haemoglobin induction (> 1.5%), 44% of patients were identified as hydroxyurea-responders. Hydroxyurea-responders, required significantly lower blood volume (77 ± SD27ml/kg) compared to hydroxyurea-non-responders (108 ± SD24ml/kg; p < 0.01) and placebo-receivers (102 ± 28ml/kg; p < 0.05). Response to hydroxyurea was significantly higher in patients with HbE β-thalassaemia genotype (50% vs. 0%; p < 0.01) and Xmn1 polymorphism of the γ-globin gene (67% vs. 27%; p < 0.05). We conclude that oral hydroxyurea increased fetal haemoglobin percentage and reduced erythropoietic stress of ineffective erythropoiesis in patients with transfusion-dependent β-thalassaemia. Hydroxyurea reduced the transfusion burden in approximately 40% of patients. Response to hydroxyurea was higher in patients with HbE β-thalassaemia genotype and Xmn1 polymorphism of the γ-globin gene.
Extramedullary haematopoiesis in patients with transfusion dependent β-thalassaemia (TDT): a systematic review
Annals of medicine. 2022;54(1):764-774
INTRODUCTION Around 5% of the world's population is expected to have some degree and type of thalassaemia. Beta thalassaemia (BT) occurs due to a deficient production of the beta-globin chain of haemoglobin. Extramedullary haematopoiesis (EMH) is one of the complications of BT, mainly observed in minor/intermedia subtypes. EMH is the production of blood cells outside the marrow as a compensatory response to longstanding hypoxia. Due to chronic transfusions, it is not expected in patients with beta-thalassaemia major (BTM). However, there are increasingly reported cases of EMH in BTM. The incidence of EMH in BTM is thought to be <1%. We aim to pool the available data and provide cumulative evidence on the occurrence of EMH in BTM patients. METHODS This is a systematic review of case reports, series, and retrospective studies that presented data on the occurrence of EMH in BTM patients. Data were recorded and analyzed in Microsoft Excel 2016 and SPSS 26. The protocol has been registered in PROSPERO CRD42021242943. RESULTS Data from 253 cases of EMH in BTM patients were extracted with a mean age of 35.3 years. Mean haemoglobin at presentation with EMH was 8.2 mg/dL. Lower limb weakness was the most common presenting feature (N = 23) (paraspinal EMH). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was the most widely used diagnostic modality (226). Overall, blood transfusion was the commonest reported treatment (30), followed by radiotherapy (20), surgery (15), hydroxyurea (12), steroids (6), and exchange transfusion (2). An outcome was reported in 20% of patients, all recovered, except one who died as a result of nosocomial infection. CONCLUSION EMH is rare in BTM and can occur in any organ system with varied clinical features. MRI can effectively diagnose EMH, and conservative management has similar results compared to invasive treatments. Larger studies, focussing on outcomes may enhance guidelines on preventive and therapeutic strategies for managing EMH in BTM.KEY MESSAGESExtramedullary haematopoiesis is a rare complication in beta thalassaemia. Although it is more common in non-transfusion dependent thalassaemia, increasingly reported cases suggest a higher prevalence of EMH in TDT than what is known before.There are no clear guidelines on the management of EMH in TDT, with reported patients showing similar outcomes with conservative invasive treatment modalities.More extensive and preferably prospectively designed studies are required focussing on the management of EMH and its outcomes in patients with TDT to formulate evidence-based guidelines.
Two trade names of deferasirox (Osveral® and Exjade®) in reduction of iron overload parameters in major beta-thalassemia patients: A randomized open labeled clinical trial
Caspian journal of internal medicine. 2022;13(1):61-69
BACKGROUND Beta-thalassemia major patients typically require chronic transfusion and iron-chelating agents to reduce serum iron overload. Osveral(®) is an available Iranian brand name of deferasirox used by majority of thalassemic patients. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of Osveral(®) vs. Exjade(®) in major beta- thalassemia patients. METHODS In this randomized clinical trial, all patients received a single daily dose of 30 mg/kg either of Osveral(®) or Exjade(®) for 6 months. Primary outcome was the mean of bimonthly changes in serum ferritin concentration and secondary outcomes included mean changes of heart and liver MRI T2* after a year. RESULTS Finally, 80 patients completed the study. The mean serum ferritin level at the end of sixth month significantly decreased in Osveral(®) and Exjade(®) groups (p<0.01). After a year, means cardiac MRI T2* in Osveral(®) group were changed from 25.9±9.6 ms to 25.4±9.7 ms and in Exjade(®) group from 24.8±9.2 ms to 26.9±5.9 ms, with no significant difference (P=0.43). Mean liver MRI T2* for Osveral(®) and Exjade(®) groups were 8.6±6.4 ms (baseline 6.3±4.7) and 6.3±4 ms (baseline 4.9±3.5), respectively and there was no significant difference between two study arms (P=0.1). CONCLUSION Osveral(®) decreased significantly the serum ferritin level and improved heart and liver iron overload as efficient as Exjade(®). It can be a suitable cost-effective alternative agent in beta-thalassemia major patients.
A Systematic Review on the Management of Transfusion-Related Acute Lung Injury in Transfusion-Dependent Sickle Cell Disease
The onset of respiratory distress and acute lung injury (ALI) following a blood transfusion is known as transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI), although its pathophysiology remains unknown. Even though sickle cell disease (SCD) has been studied for more than a century, few therapeutic and management strategies adequately address the emergence of TRALI. TRALI, an immune-mediated transfusion response that can result in life-threatening consequences, is diagnosed based on clinical signs and symptoms. Early detection and treatment increase the chances of survival and, in most cases, result in a complete recovery. Our objective is to provide a firm grasp of the present status of SCD-related TRALI care and therapy. After exploring multiple databases, this study offers evidence-based guidelines to aid clinicians and other healthcare professionals make decisions concerning transfusion assistance for SCD and the management of transfusion-related complications. Other risk factors for acute lung injury including sepsis aspiration should be ruled out throughout the diagnostic process. Several recent studies have shown that immunotherapy or immunological targets can effectively prevent these complications. Red cell transfusions, red cell antigen matching optimization, and iron chelation can also help reduce negative consequences. It is to be noted that poor clinical outcomes can be avoided by early detection and treatment of hemolytic transfusion reactions. Finally, preventing the onset of TRALI may be the most effective therapeutic strategy for SCD patients who rely on blood transfusions for survival.
Effects of replacement therapies with clotting factors in patients with hemophilia: A systematic review and meta-analysis
PloS one. 2022;17(1):e0262273
BACKGROUND Different prophylactic and episodic clotting factor treatments are used in the management of hemophilia. A summarize of the evidence is needed inform decision-making. OBJECTIVE To compare the effects of factor replacement therapies in patients with hemophilia. METHODS We performed a systematic search in PubMed, Central Cochrane Library, and Scopus. We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published up to December 2020, which compared different factor replacement therapies in patients with hemophilia. Random-effects meta-analyses were performed whenever possible. The certainty of the evidence was assessed using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) methodology. The study protocol was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42021225857). RESULTS Nine RCTs were included in this review, of which six compared episodic with prophylactic treatment, all of them performed in patients with hemophilia A. Pooled results showed that, compared to the episodic treatment group, the annualized bleeding rate was lower in the low-dose prophylactic group (ratio of means [RM]: 0.27, 95% CI: 0.17 to 0.43), intermediate-dose prophylactic group (RM: 0.15, 95% CI: 0.07 to 0.36), and high-dose prophylactic group (RM: 0.07, 95% CI: 0.04 to 0.13). With significant difference between these subgroups (p = 0.003, I2 = 82.9%). In addition, compared to the episodic treatment group, the annualized joint bleeding rate was lower in the low-dose prophylactic group (RM: 0.17, 95% CI: 0.06 to 0.43), intermediate-dose prophylactic group (RM of 0.14, 95% CI: 0.07 to 0.27), and high-dose prophylactic group (RM of 0.08, 95% CI: 0.04 to 0.16). Without significant subgroup differences. The certainty of the evidence was very low for all outcomes according to GRADE methodology. The other studies compared different types of clotting factor concentrates (CFCs), assessed pharmacokinetic prophylaxis, or compared different frequencies of medication administration. CONCLUSIONS Our results suggest that prophylactic treatment (at either low, intermediate, or high doses) is superior to episodic treatment for bleeding prevention. In patients with hemophilia A, the bleeding rate seems to have a dose-response effect. However, no study compared different doses of prophylactic treatment, and all results had a very low certainty of the evidence. Thus, future studies are needed to confirm these results and inform decision making.
Prevalence of transfusion-transmitted infections in multiple blood transfusion-dependent thalassemic patients in Asia: A systemic review
International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology. 2022;36:3946320221096909
BACKGROUND Thalassemia is a hereditary hemolytic anemia marked by a defect in synthesizing one or more globin chains in hemoglobin. In Pakistan, approximately 10,000 patients with thalassemia are primarily dependent on blood transfusions. The β-thalassemia patients require blood transfusions and iron chelation therapy. Patients who need blood transfusions are at an increased risk of contracting transfusion-transmitted infections (TTIs) such as hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV and HCV, respectively), as well as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). OBJECTIVE This systemic review aims to assess the prevalence of TTIs in transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia patients in Asia. METHODS The data for the systematic review were gathered from PubMed, Google Scholar, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), and ScienceDirect using the following keywords: "prevalence, HBV, HCV, HIV, thalassemia, and transfusion-transmitted infections (TTIs)," and so on. This review includes the research articles that address the prevalence of viral infections in thalassemic patients following blood transfusion. RESULTS A preliminary search of various databases identified 231 potential studies. 157 duplicate studies were eliminated, and the eligibility of 59 full-length articles was determined. Only 43 studies met the inclusion criteria. Among the 43 studies analyzed, 11 reported a high prevalence of HCV alone in thalassemic patients, while 21 reported a high prevalence of HCV and HBV infection in thalassemic patients. Eight studies reported the prevalence of all three TTIs examined, namely, HCV, HBV, and HIV, in patients with transfusion-dependent thalassemia. CONCLUSION Preventable transfusion-transmitted infections occur frequently, and robust national policies and hemovigilance are required to detect and mitigate the infection risk.
The lived experience of women with a bleeding disorder: A systematic review
Research and practice in thrombosis and haemostasis. 2022;6(1):e12652
BACKGROUND Research studies have described the morbidity associated with inherited bleeding disorders such as hemophilia and von Willebrand disease in women, but their effect on daily living has long been underrecognized. This systematic review sought to document the lived experience of women with a bleeding disorder by assessing research findings on quality of health care, socioeconomic factors, and mental health. METHODS A systematic search was carried out in Web of Science, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and PubMed on July 31, 2020. References were hand searched. Abstracts of the 2019 and 2020 congresses on bleeding disorders were hand searched. Key journals were screened for relevant studies published after the search date until the analysis was completed on December 7, 2020. RESULTS Of 635 potentially eligible publications, 27 published since 1998 were selected for review. Most studies were of moderate to high quality but meta-analysis of quantitative studies was not possible due to difference in outcomes and assessment.Women with a bleeding disorder experience obstacles to accessing care, difficulties living with their disorder, interference with schooling and work, and poor mental health. Diagnostic delay and lack of recognition of symptoms mean treatment and support may not be available. Where comparisons with controls were made, women's negative experiences were greater than those of men. CONCLUSIONS Women with bleeding disorders experience major negative impacts of their disorders on daily life and mental well-being. Many of the challenges identified in earlier research are evident in more recent studies.
Effects of corticosteroids in patients with sickle cell disease and acute complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Whether corticosteroids improve outcome in patients with acute complications of sickle cell disease (SCD) is still debated. We performed a systematic review of the literature with the aim of estimating effects of corticosteroids on the clinical course of vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC) or acute chest syndrome (ACS) in patients with SCD. The primary outcome was transfusion requirement during hospitalization. Studies were identified by search of MEDLINE and CENTRAL database. Three randomized clinical trials (RCT) and three retrospective cohort studies (RCS) were included, involving 3,304 participants and 5,562 VOC or ACS episodes. There was no difference between corticosteroids and standard treatment regarding transfusion overall [OR=0.98 (95% CI 0.38 to 2.53)], but with a significant interaction of study type (P.