A 10-year longitudinal study of evaluation of ovarian reserve in women with transfusion-dependent beta thalassaemia major.


Reproductive Medicine Unit, University College London Hospital, 235 Euston Road, NW1 2PG London, United Kingdom. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : Although spontaneous fertility and successful pregnancies have been reported in well-chelated and transfused women with beta thalassaemia major (BTM), majority of women are subfertile due to hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (HH). Little is known about the effect of iron overload on ovarian follicles and whether ovarian reserve is affected by the disease or treatment status. This study compares the markers of ovarian reserve in women with transfusion-dependent BTM over a period of ten years with healthy women from a control population.
METHODS : We performed a 10-year mixed (retrospective and prospective) longitudinal study in 17 women with transfusion-dependent BTM from our thalassaemia clinic between July 2007 to June 2017. The results were compared with 52 age-matched healthy women without any medical conditions (control population) attending our fertility clinic. Patient demographics, medical history, menstrual history, hormonal parameters (serum levels of FSH, estradiol, TSH and AMH) and antral follicle count were recorded in all women from both groups. Serum levels of ferritin, cardiac T2*, liver iron concentration, thyroid function (TSH) and liver function test results were also recorded at three different time points.
RESULTS : Serum AMH levels, estradiol levels and antral follicle count were significantly lower in women with BTM compared with the control group (p < 0.05 for all). Low AMH levels were noted in both groups of women (with and without HH) with a background of BTM. Serum AMH levels positively correlated with AFC in women with BTM.
CONCLUSIONS : Serum AMH level and AFC were significantly lower in women with transfusion dependent BTM as compared to age-matched healthy controls suggesting a direct impact of the disease activity or iron overload on the ovary.


Beta thalassaemia major,Fertility,Ovarian reserve,