OBJECTIVES: This study aims to analyze the posterior segment of the eye in children with thalassemia major (TM) treated with chelation therapy.
METHODS: Forty-four patients diagnosed with TM and 44 age- and gender-matched participants without systemic diseases were included in this cross-sectional comparative study. A complete ophthalmologic examination, including visual acuity and fundus examination, was performed on all participants. The study and control groups optic coherence tomography (OCT) evaluation was performed with a spectral domain featured OCT device. Central macular thickness (CMT), macular volume, ganglion cell complex (GCC) thickness, retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness, subfoveal choroidal thickness (CT), CT at 1 mm temporal to the fovea, CT at 1 mm nasal to the fovea, CT at the 1 mm temporal to the optic nerve head, and CT at the 1 mm nasal to the optic nerve head were compared between the study and control groups.
RESULTS: The mean ages for the study group and for the control group were 15.2±6.2 and 14.2±4.9 years, respectively. The mean subfoveal CT was 287.73±47.04 µm in the TM group and 312.66±39.95 µm in the control group (p=0.014). CT at the nasal to the fovea and temporal to the optic nerve head was thinner in the TM group than in the healthy group. The mean CMT, macular volume, GCC thickness, and RNFL thickness of the study and the control groups were similar. No significant difference was found between the patients with and without deferoxamine therapy concerning macular thickness, GCC thickness, and macular and peripapillary CT.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Our results suggested that subfoveal, perifoveal, and peripapillary CTs were significantly thinner in children with TM than the control group. The use of deferoxamine did not cause a further reduction in CT.