Abstract: Major β-thalassemia is the most inherited hemoglobinopathy that caused severe and progressive anemia. Iron overload due to repeated blood transfusion cause organ damage such as heart, liver, endocrine gland and skeletal system. Desferal, as an iron chelator is used to eliminate iron from the blood that despite its side effects is few, ophthalmic toxicity due to it is exactly known. Eighty six major β-thalassemia, 10-35 years old selected 51 females and 35 males. They used desferioxamine regularly >5 years 3-6 times/week subcutaneousely. Patients information filled in a questionnaire and then ophthalmologic examination was done. Likewise, personal and familial history of ophthalmic diseases has recorded and finally Visual Evoked Potential (VEP) by procedure of pattern reversal has been done for all patients. In 9 patients (10.5%) some symptoms as to desferal toxicity have been found that included: Abnormal VEP in 3 patients, macular pigmentation in 3 patients, color vision disorder in 2 patients (green and red colors) and cataract in one patient. These patients didn’t have any ophthalmic complaints. The age of starting to use desferal in this 9 patients was lower than others (3.3±3.8 years, p = 0.03), but there was no difference in age, desferal dose, weight, average of ferritin, splenectomy, heart disease and diabetes mellitus between these patients and others. Ophthalmic complications of desferioxamine in >10 years in age patients are lower than other areas in the world, but VEP can not be used as a screen test in this area contrary to other places. Also, desferal is an effective and low risk with very low risk/benefit ratio that is recommended to use regularly and to be under regulation and modification on base of serum ferritin.
M.S. Rahiminejad, S. Rahiminejad, M. Rahimi, A. Baghersalimi, S. Inanlou, M. Karimi, M. Faranoush, R. Ghorbani and G.R. Mohammadi, 2009. Ocular Complication and Visual Evoked Potential in β-Thalassemia Patients on Desferal Therapy. Research Journal of Biological Sciences, 4: 928-932.