The effect of deferasirox on cardiac iron in thalassemia major: Impact of total body iron stores
We present results from a prospective, multicenter, open-label, single-arm study evaluating response of cardiac and liver iron to deferasirox therapy for 18 months. Twenty-eight patients with abnormal T2* and normal left ventricular ejection fraction were enrolled from 4 US centers. All patients initially received deferasirox doses of 30 to 40 mg/kg per day. Patients were severely iron overloaded: mean liver iron concentration (LIC) 20.3 mg Fe/g dry weight, serum ferritin 4417 ng/mL, and cardiac T2* 8.6 ms. In the intent-to-treat population, 48% reached the primary endpoint (cardiac T2* improvement at 18 months, P = not significant). There were 2 deaths: 1 from congestive heart failure and 1 from sepsis. In the 22 patients completing the trial, LIC and cardiac T2* improvements were 16% (P = .06) and 14% (P = .07), respectively. Cardiac T2* improvement (13 patients) was predicted by initial LIC, final LIC, and percentage LIC change, but not initial cardiac T2*. Cardiac iron improved 24% in patients having LIC in the lower 2 quartiles and worsened 8.7% in patients having LIC in the upper 2 quartiles. Left ventricular ejection fraction was unchanged at all time points. Monotherapy with deferasirox was effective in patients with mild to moderate iron stores but failed to remove cardiac iron in patients with severe hepatic iron burdens. This study was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00447694.