Background Several studies demonstrated some alterations in immune system of β-thalassemia major patients. The aim of this study was to assess the immunologic markers of these patients in comaprision with control group.
Method Immunologic markers including CD8, CD4 [T-lymphocyte], CD19 [B-lymphocyte], and CD56 [NK cell]) were assessed in thirty patients with β-thalassemia major (18 male and 12 female; under 18 years) and similar age and sex matched healthy controls. All patients had no infectious, malignant or chronic diseases. Complete blood count, and serum ferritine and iron also were measured. Statistical analysis performed by SPSS (v.15) software.
Results We did not found any abnormality in cellular and humoral system. However, mean CD56 level in thalassemia group were significantly lower than control group (6.54±2.87% vs. 9.13±4.01%; p=0.006). Mean CD4 in thalassemia patients with spelenectomy was significantly lower than patients without splenectomy (31.8±6.55% vs. 40.3±9.2%; p=0.02).
Conclusion NK cell marker in the patients with β-thalassemia major is lower than healthy individuals, that may be responsible for defects in innate immune system.