Deferoxamine-induced platyspondyly in hypertransfused thalassemic patients
Deferoxamine chelation therapy (widely used to reduce iron overload in hypertransfused thalassemic patients) has been implicated in causing skeletal growth abnormalities (rachitic-like changes in the long bones and vertebral body flattening), particularly when used in early infancy and at high dose levels. Radiographs of seven hypertransfused and well-chelated patients with thalassemia were reviewed. For two patients, serial films of the spine from the early 1970s to the present revealed a sequence of changes in the vertebral bodies, beginning with normal bodies that became bulbous and subsequently flattened. These two patients had begun deferoxamine chelation therapy early in infancy. The bone changes, though slightly reminiscent of post-radiation changes, are milder and result in a final Scheuermann-like picture.