Iron profile of pregnant sickle cell anemia patients in Odisha, India

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Introduction: During pregnancy, the iron requirement increases to meet the optimal growth of the fetus and prevent iron deficiency anemia-related complications in the mother. However, in sickle cell disease (SCD) primarily due to repeated blood transfusions and hemolysis-induced recycling of iron, its supplementation during pregnancy remains questionable and may be harmful. Methods: Twenty-five pregnant women with homozygous SCD and 25 pregnant women with normal hemoglobin variants were included as cases and control, respectively. Pregnancy and sickle cell anemia (SCA) were diagnosed using standard protocols. The serum iron, serum ferritin, total iron-binding capacity (TIBC), percentage transferrin saturation and C-reactive protein were estimated, as per the manufacturer's protocol. The complete blood count was performed. The unpaired ‘t-test’ was performed using the SPSS v23.0 and the principal component analysis (PCA) was performed using the online software MetaboAnalyst for statistical analysis. Main Results: The studied cases had significantly lower mean hemoglobin and higher mean corpuscular volume (MCV), compared to controls. The mean serum-iron, serum-ferritin and percentage transferrin-saturation in the cases were significantly higher than that of the controls, while the TIBC was lower in the cases (p < 0.0001). The mean level of serum iron, ferritin, percentage transferrin saturation and TIBC were 309.44 ± 122.40mcg/dl, 860.36 ± 624.64ng/ml, 42.6 ± 17.30% and 241.32 ± 96.30 mcg/dl, respectively, in the cases and 95.36 ± 41.90mcg/dl, 122.28 ± 49.70ng/ml, 15.83 ± 3.10% and 492.6 ± 149.40mcg/dl in the controls, respectively. Higher MCV, mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) with lower hemoglobin (Hb) were noted in the cases. The PCA revealed that the cases were more heterogeneous in terms of the variability of the iron status and hematological indices than the controls. Conclusion: The current study shows iron sufficiency in most cases of pregnancy with SCA and suggests that evaluation of iron status must be made before initiating iron prophylaxis in pregnant women with SCA, especially in regions having a high prevalence of sickle cell hemoglobinopathy.




Sukla, S. K., Mohanty, P. K., Patel, S., Das, K., Hiregoudar, M., Soren, U. K., & Meher, S. (2023). Iron profile of pregnant sickle cell anemia patients in Odisha, India. Hematology, Transfusion and Cell Therapy, 45, S11–S17.

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