Preliminary data on COVID-19 in patients with hemoglobinopathies: A multicentre ICET-A study

Vincenzo de Sanctis*, Duran Canatan, Joan Lluis Vives Corrons, Mehran Karimi, Shahina Daar, Christos Kattamis, Ashraf T. Soliman, Yasser Wali, Salam Alkindi, Valeh Huseynov, Afag Nasibova, Tarık Onur Tiryaki, Melike Sezgin Evim, Adalet Meral Gunes, Zeynep Karakas, Soteroula Christou, Saveria Campisi, Tahereh Zarei, Doaa Khater, Yesim OymakValeriya Kaleva, Denka Stoyanova, Atanas Banchev, Maria Concetta Galati, Mohamed A. Yassin, Shruti Kakar, Myrto Skafida, Yurdanur Kilinc, Saif Alyaarubi, Narmin Verdiyevas, Iva Stoeva, Giuseppe Raiola, Demetris Mariannis, Leopoldo Ruggiero, Salvatore Di Maio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This study aims to investigate, retrospectively, the epidemiological and clinical characteristics, laboratory results, radiologic findings, and outcomes of COVID-19 in patients with transfusion-dependent β thalassemia major (TM), β-thalassemia intermedia (TI) and sickle cell disease (SCD). Design: A total of 17 Centers, from 10 countries, following 9,499 patients with hemoglobinopathies, participated in the survey. Main outcome data: Clinical, laboratory, and radiologic findings and outcomes of patients with COVID-19 were collected from medical records and summarized. Results: A total of 13 patients, 7 with TM, 3 with TI, and 3 with SCD, with confirmed COVID-19, were identified in 6 Centers from different countries. The overall mean age of patients was 33.7±12.3 years (range:13-66); 9/13 (69.2%) patients were females. Six patients had pneumonia, and 4 needed oxygen therapy. Increased C-reactive protein (6/10), high serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH; 6/10), and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR; 6/10) were the most common laboratory findings. 6/10 patients had an exacerbation of anemia (2 with SCD). In the majority of patients, the course of COVID-19 was moderate (6/10) and severe in 3/10 patients. A 30-year-old female with TM, developed a critical SARS-CoV-2 infection, followed by death in an Intensive Care Unit. In one Center (Oman), the majority of suspected cases were observed in patients with SCD between the age of 21 and 40 years. A rapid clinical improvement of tachypnea/dyspnea and oxygen saturation was observed, after red blood cell exchange transfusion, in a young girl with SCD and worsening of anemia (Hb level from 9.2 g/dl to 6.1g/dl). Conclusions: The data presented in this survey permit an early assessment of the clinical characteristics of COVID 19 in different countries. 70% of symptomatic patients with COVID-19 required hospitalization. The presence of associated co-morbidities can aggravate the severity of COVID- 19, leading to a poorer prognosis irrespective of age.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020046
JournalMediterranean Journal of Hematology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Clinical course
  • Patients' characteristics
  • Risk factors
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sickle cell disease
  • β-thalassemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Infectious Diseases


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