Hydroxyurea for reducing blood transfusion in non-transfusion dependent beta thalassaemias

Wai Cheng Foong, Jacqueline J. Ho, C-Khai Loh, Vip Viprakasit

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Non-transfusion dependent beta thalassaemia is a subset of inherited haemoglobin disorders characterised by reduced production of the beta globin chain of the haemoglobin molecule leading to anaemia of varying severity. Although blood transfusion is not a necessity for survival, it is required when episodes of chronic anaemia occur. This chronic anaemia can impair growth and affect quality of life. People with non-transfusion dependent beta thalassaemia suffer from iron overload due to their body's increased capability of absorbing iron from food sources. Iron overload becomes more pronounced in those requiring blood transfusion. People with a higher foetal haemoglobin level have been found to require fewer blood transfusions. Hydroxyurea has been used to increase foetal haemoglobin level; however, its efficacy in reducing transfusion, chronic anaemia complications and its safety need to be established. Objectives: To assess the effectiveness, safety and appropriate dose regimen of hydroxyurea in people with non-transfusion dependent beta thalassaemia (haemoglobin E combined with beta thalassaemia and beta thalassaemia intermedia). Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Disorders Group's Haemoglobinopathies Trials Register, compiled from electronic database searches and handsearching of relevant journals. We also searched ongoing trials registries and the reference lists of relevant articles and reviews. Date of last search: 30 April 2016. Selection criteria: Randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials of hydroxyurea in people with non-transfusion dependent beta thalassaemia comparing hydroxyurea with placebo or standard treatment or comparing different doses of hydroxyurea. Data collection and analysis: Two authors independently applied the inclusion criteria in order to select trials for inclusion. Both authors assessed the risk of bias of trials and extracted the data. A third author verified these assessments. Main results: No trials comparing hydroxyurea with placebo or standard care were found. However, we included one randomised controlled trial (n = 61) comparing 20 mg/kg/day with 10 mg/kg/day of hydroxyurea for 24 weeks. Both haemoglobin and foetal haemoglobin levels were lower at 24 weeks in the 20 mg group compared with the 10 mg group, mean difference -2.39 (95% confidence interval - 2.8 to -1.98) and mean difference -1.5 (95% confidence interval -1.83 to -1.17), respectively. Major adverse effects were significantly more common in the 20 mg group, for neutropenia risk ratio 9.93 (95% confidence interval 1.34 to 73.97) and for thrombocytopenia risk ratio 3.68 (95% confidence interval 1.13 to 12.07). No difference was reported for minor adverse effects (gastrointestinal disturbances and raised liver enzymes). The effect of hydroxyurea on transfusion frequency was not reported. The overall quality for the outcomes reported was graded as very low mainly because the outcomes were derived from only one small study with an unclear method of allocation concealment. Authors' conclusions: There is no evidence from randomised controlled trials to show whether hydroxyurea has any effect compared with controls on the need for blood transfusion. Administration of 10 mg/kg/day compared to 20 mg/kg/day of hydroxyurea resulted in higher haemoglobin levels and seems safer with fewer adverse effects. It has not been reported whether hydroxyurea is capable of reducing the need for blood transfusion. Large well-designed randomised controlled trials with sufficient duration of follow up are recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberCD011579
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Volume2016
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2016

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Hydroxyurea
Blood Transfusion
beta-Thalassemia
Fetal Hemoglobin
Anemia
Hemoglobins
Randomized Controlled Trials
Confidence Intervals
Iron Overload
Hemoglobin E
Odds Ratio
Placebos
Safety
Hemoglobinopathies
Inborn Genetic Diseases
beta-Globins
Neutropenia
Cystic Fibrosis
Thrombocytopenia
Patient Selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)

Cite this

Hydroxyurea for reducing blood transfusion in non-transfusion dependent beta thalassaemias. / Foong, Wai Cheng; Ho, Jacqueline J.; Loh, C-Khai; Viprakasit, Vip.

In: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Vol. 2016, No. 10, CD011579, 18.10.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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title = "Hydroxyurea for reducing blood transfusion in non-transfusion dependent beta thalassaemias",
abstract = "Background: Non-transfusion dependent beta thalassaemia is a subset of inherited haemoglobin disorders characterised by reduced production of the beta globin chain of the haemoglobin molecule leading to anaemia of varying severity. Although blood transfusion is not a necessity for survival, it is required when episodes of chronic anaemia occur. This chronic anaemia can impair growth and affect quality of life. People with non-transfusion dependent beta thalassaemia suffer from iron overload due to their body's increased capability of absorbing iron from food sources. Iron overload becomes more pronounced in those requiring blood transfusion. People with a higher foetal haemoglobin level have been found to require fewer blood transfusions. Hydroxyurea has been used to increase foetal haemoglobin level; however, its efficacy in reducing transfusion, chronic anaemia complications and its safety need to be established. Objectives: To assess the effectiveness, safety and appropriate dose regimen of hydroxyurea in people with non-transfusion dependent beta thalassaemia (haemoglobin E combined with beta thalassaemia and beta thalassaemia intermedia). Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Disorders Group's Haemoglobinopathies Trials Register, compiled from electronic database searches and handsearching of relevant journals. We also searched ongoing trials registries and the reference lists of relevant articles and reviews. Date of last search: 30 April 2016. Selection criteria: Randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials of hydroxyurea in people with non-transfusion dependent beta thalassaemia comparing hydroxyurea with placebo or standard treatment or comparing different doses of hydroxyurea. Data collection and analysis: Two authors independently applied the inclusion criteria in order to select trials for inclusion. Both authors assessed the risk of bias of trials and extracted the data. A third author verified these assessments. Main results: No trials comparing hydroxyurea with placebo or standard care were found. However, we included one randomised controlled trial (n = 61) comparing 20 mg/kg/day with 10 mg/kg/day of hydroxyurea for 24 weeks. Both haemoglobin and foetal haemoglobin levels were lower at 24 weeks in the 20 mg group compared with the 10 mg group, mean difference -2.39 (95{\%} confidence interval - 2.8 to -1.98) and mean difference -1.5 (95{\%} confidence interval -1.83 to -1.17), respectively. Major adverse effects were significantly more common in the 20 mg group, for neutropenia risk ratio 9.93 (95{\%} confidence interval 1.34 to 73.97) and for thrombocytopenia risk ratio 3.68 (95{\%} confidence interval 1.13 to 12.07). No difference was reported for minor adverse effects (gastrointestinal disturbances and raised liver enzymes). The effect of hydroxyurea on transfusion frequency was not reported. The overall quality for the outcomes reported was graded as very low mainly because the outcomes were derived from only one small study with an unclear method of allocation concealment. Authors' conclusions: There is no evidence from randomised controlled trials to show whether hydroxyurea has any effect compared with controls on the need for blood transfusion. Administration of 10 mg/kg/day compared to 20 mg/kg/day of hydroxyurea resulted in higher haemoglobin levels and seems safer with fewer adverse effects. It has not been reported whether hydroxyurea is capable of reducing the need for blood transfusion. Large well-designed randomised controlled trials with sufficient duration of follow up are recommended.",
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N2 - Background: Non-transfusion dependent beta thalassaemia is a subset of inherited haemoglobin disorders characterised by reduced production of the beta globin chain of the haemoglobin molecule leading to anaemia of varying severity. Although blood transfusion is not a necessity for survival, it is required when episodes of chronic anaemia occur. This chronic anaemia can impair growth and affect quality of life. People with non-transfusion dependent beta thalassaemia suffer from iron overload due to their body's increased capability of absorbing iron from food sources. Iron overload becomes more pronounced in those requiring blood transfusion. People with a higher foetal haemoglobin level have been found to require fewer blood transfusions. Hydroxyurea has been used to increase foetal haemoglobin level; however, its efficacy in reducing transfusion, chronic anaemia complications and its safety need to be established. Objectives: To assess the effectiveness, safety and appropriate dose regimen of hydroxyurea in people with non-transfusion dependent beta thalassaemia (haemoglobin E combined with beta thalassaemia and beta thalassaemia intermedia). Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Disorders Group's Haemoglobinopathies Trials Register, compiled from electronic database searches and handsearching of relevant journals. We also searched ongoing trials registries and the reference lists of relevant articles and reviews. Date of last search: 30 April 2016. Selection criteria: Randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials of hydroxyurea in people with non-transfusion dependent beta thalassaemia comparing hydroxyurea with placebo or standard treatment or comparing different doses of hydroxyurea. Data collection and analysis: Two authors independently applied the inclusion criteria in order to select trials for inclusion. Both authors assessed the risk of bias of trials and extracted the data. A third author verified these assessments. Main results: No trials comparing hydroxyurea with placebo or standard care were found. However, we included one randomised controlled trial (n = 61) comparing 20 mg/kg/day with 10 mg/kg/day of hydroxyurea for 24 weeks. Both haemoglobin and foetal haemoglobin levels were lower at 24 weeks in the 20 mg group compared with the 10 mg group, mean difference -2.39 (95% confidence interval - 2.8 to -1.98) and mean difference -1.5 (95% confidence interval -1.83 to -1.17), respectively. Major adverse effects were significantly more common in the 20 mg group, for neutropenia risk ratio 9.93 (95% confidence interval 1.34 to 73.97) and for thrombocytopenia risk ratio 3.68 (95% confidence interval 1.13 to 12.07). No difference was reported for minor adverse effects (gastrointestinal disturbances and raised liver enzymes). The effect of hydroxyurea on transfusion frequency was not reported. The overall quality for the outcomes reported was graded as very low mainly because the outcomes were derived from only one small study with an unclear method of allocation concealment. Authors' conclusions: There is no evidence from randomised controlled trials to show whether hydroxyurea has any effect compared with controls on the need for blood transfusion. Administration of 10 mg/kg/day compared to 20 mg/kg/day of hydroxyurea resulted in higher haemoglobin levels and seems safer with fewer adverse effects. It has not been reported whether hydroxyurea is capable of reducing the need for blood transfusion. Large well-designed randomised controlled trials with sufficient duration of follow up are recommended.

AB - Background: Non-transfusion dependent beta thalassaemia is a subset of inherited haemoglobin disorders characterised by reduced production of the beta globin chain of the haemoglobin molecule leading to anaemia of varying severity. Although blood transfusion is not a necessity for survival, it is required when episodes of chronic anaemia occur. This chronic anaemia can impair growth and affect quality of life. People with non-transfusion dependent beta thalassaemia suffer from iron overload due to their body's increased capability of absorbing iron from food sources. Iron overload becomes more pronounced in those requiring blood transfusion. People with a higher foetal haemoglobin level have been found to require fewer blood transfusions. Hydroxyurea has been used to increase foetal haemoglobin level; however, its efficacy in reducing transfusion, chronic anaemia complications and its safety need to be established. Objectives: To assess the effectiveness, safety and appropriate dose regimen of hydroxyurea in people with non-transfusion dependent beta thalassaemia (haemoglobin E combined with beta thalassaemia and beta thalassaemia intermedia). Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Disorders Group's Haemoglobinopathies Trials Register, compiled from electronic database searches and handsearching of relevant journals. We also searched ongoing trials registries and the reference lists of relevant articles and reviews. Date of last search: 30 April 2016. Selection criteria: Randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials of hydroxyurea in people with non-transfusion dependent beta thalassaemia comparing hydroxyurea with placebo or standard treatment or comparing different doses of hydroxyurea. Data collection and analysis: Two authors independently applied the inclusion criteria in order to select trials for inclusion. Both authors assessed the risk of bias of trials and extracted the data. A third author verified these assessments. Main results: No trials comparing hydroxyurea with placebo or standard care were found. However, we included one randomised controlled trial (n = 61) comparing 20 mg/kg/day with 10 mg/kg/day of hydroxyurea for 24 weeks. Both haemoglobin and foetal haemoglobin levels were lower at 24 weeks in the 20 mg group compared with the 10 mg group, mean difference -2.39 (95% confidence interval - 2.8 to -1.98) and mean difference -1.5 (95% confidence interval -1.83 to -1.17), respectively. Major adverse effects were significantly more common in the 20 mg group, for neutropenia risk ratio 9.93 (95% confidence interval 1.34 to 73.97) and for thrombocytopenia risk ratio 3.68 (95% confidence interval 1.13 to 12.07). No difference was reported for minor adverse effects (gastrointestinal disturbances and raised liver enzymes). The effect of hydroxyurea on transfusion frequency was not reported. The overall quality for the outcomes reported was graded as very low mainly because the outcomes were derived from only one small study with an unclear method of allocation concealment. Authors' conclusions: There is no evidence from randomised controlled trials to show whether hydroxyurea has any effect compared with controls on the need for blood transfusion. Administration of 10 mg/kg/day compared to 20 mg/kg/day of hydroxyurea resulted in higher haemoglobin levels and seems safer with fewer adverse effects. It has not been reported whether hydroxyurea is capable of reducing the need for blood transfusion. Large well-designed randomised controlled trials with sufficient duration of follow up are recommended.

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