Background: The accumulation of unpaired α-globin chains in patients with β-thalassemia major may clinically create ineffective erythropoiesis, hemolysis, and chronic anemia. Multiple blood transfusions and iron overload cause cellular oxida-tive damage. However, α-tocopherol, an antioxidant, is a potent scavenger of lipid radicals in the membranes of red blood cells (RBCs) of patients with β-thalassemia major. Purpose: To evaluate the effects of α-tocopherol on hemolysis and oxidative stress markers on the RBC membranes of patients with β-thalassemia major. Methods: Forty subjects included in this randomized con-trolled trial were allocated to the placebo and α-tocopherol groups. Doses of α-tocopherol were based on Institute of Medicine recommendations: 4–8 years old, 200 mg/day; 9–13 years old, 400 mg/day; 14–18 years old, 600 mg/day. Hemoly-sis, oxidative stress, and antioxidant variables were evaluated before and after 4-week α-tocopherol or placebo treatment, performed before blood transfusions. Results: Significant enhancements in plasma haptoglobin were noted in the α-tocopherol group (3.01 mg/dL; range, 0.60–42.42 mg/dL; P=0.021). However, there was no significant intergroup difference in osmotic fragility test results; hemopexin, malondialdehyde, reduced glutathione (GSH), or oxidized glutathione (GSSG) levels; or GSH/GSSG ratio. Conclusion: Use of α-tocopherol could indirectly improve hemolysis and haptoglobin levels. However, it played no significant role in oxidative stress or as an endogen antioxidant marker in β-thalassemia major.
- Oxidative stress
- β-Thalassemia major