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Dr. Bushrah Fadil Ali*


Background: Thalassaemia is the single most common gene disorder in the world, characterized by defective hemoglobin synthesis and ineffective erythropoiesis, and represents major health burden. The skeletal X-ray findings show characteristics of chronic over activity of the marrow affecting mainly spine, skull, facial bones, and ribs. Objective: To discuss the skeletal manifestations of β-thalassemia major (βTM) children in Mosul with an overview of X-ray findings. Methods: The study population consisted of βTM children attending for regular blood transfusions. In each patient three types of radiographs were taken, namely of skull, chest and the hand and forearm bones. The radiographs were interpreted for marrow space enlargement, altered trabecular pattern, osteoporosis and widened diploic space and hair-on-end appearance in the skull. Results: Of the 80 the β-thalassemia major children in the present study, there were 47 males and 33 females, with 72 (90 %) showed widening of the diploic space of skull. Out of 68 cases, 61 (89.7%) showed variable degrees of radiological changes of the phalanges and metacarpal bones, and 76 of 80 cases (95%) showed rib changes. Conclusion: The characters and the degree of bone changes are often increased markedly with increase in age of the patient in spite of regular blood transfusion. Early diagnosis, counselling and regular follow up are necessary to reduce the morbidity and to improve general health.

Keywords: Skeletal, ?-thalassaemia major, Radiological, bone marrow.

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