Introduction: Patients with thalassemia experience a synthesis of one of the beta chains of the globin gene, resulting in reduced hemoglobin formation. Patients with beta-thalassemia major require routine transfusions and iron chelation. Both of these cause impaired kidney function. This study aims to determine the relationship between the amount of blood transfusion and the amount of iron chelation with blood urea and saliva levels in children with beta-thalassemia major.
Methods: An observational cross-sectional study was conducted at Moewardi Hospital, Solo using patients with beta-thalassemia major as subjects, taken by consecutive sampling from September to November 2018. The data on blood transfusion, iron chelation, and blood urea levels were obtained from medical records. Unstimulated saliva was taken in the morning. The urease method was used to assess the salivary urea levels and all data was analyzed using Pearson correlation analysis.
Result: The results showed the mean amount of transfusion was 71.9 ± 34.3, the amount of iron chelation 61.0 ± 32.1, blood urea levels 4.41 ± 1.1 mg / dL, and salivary urea levels 35.6 ± 12.5 mg / dL. Correlation analysis showed a positive correlation between the amount of blood transfusion and the amount of iron chelation with blood and saliva urea levels. There was also a positive correlation between blood urea and saliva levels.
Conclusion: It can be concluded that the amount of blood transfusion and iron chelation affects urea levels in blood and saliva in children with beta-thalassemia major. The close correlation between blood and saliva urea indicates that salivary urea can be used as an alternative assessment of blood urea.