Pancreatic changes affecting glucose homeostasis in transfusion dependent β-thalassemia (TDT): A short review

Vincenzo de Sanctis*, Ashraf T. Soliman, Ploutarchos Tzoulis, Shahina Daar, Bernadette Fiscina, Christos Kattamis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The natural history of the glycometabolic state in transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia (TDT) patients is characterized by a deterioration of glucose tolerance over time. Aims: This review depicts our current knowledges on the complex and multifacet pathophysiologic mechanisms implicated in the development of alteration of glucose homeostasis in patients with TDT. Search strategy: A systematic search was done on December 2020 including Web of Science (ISI), Scopus, PubMed, Embase, and Scholar for papers published in the last 20 years. Moreover, we checked the reference lists of the relevant articles and previously performed reviews for additional pertinent studies. The personal experience on the care of patients with thalassemias is also reported. Conclusion: A regular packed red blood cells (PRBCs) transfusion program, optimization of chelation therapy, and prevention and treatment of liver infections are critical to achieve adequate glucometabolic control in TDT patients. Many exciting opportunities remain for further research and therapeutic development. (

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021232
JournalActa Biomedica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2021


  • Chronic liver disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Insulin resistance
  • Iron overload
  • Thalassemia
  • Viral hepatitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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