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Am J Hematol. 1992 Nov;41(3):159-64.

Pseudoxanthoma elasticum-like skin lesions and angioid streaks in beta-thalassemia.

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First Department of Internal Medicine, University of Athens, Laiko General Hospital, Greece.


One hundred patients with homozygous or doubly heterozygous beta-thalassemia (62 with the major form and 38 with beta-thalassemia intermedia) were examined for signs of Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE). Diagnostic skin lesions were found in 16 patients with either form of the basic disease. Twenty percent of all patients had angioid streaks (AS); both PXE skin lesions and AS were found in 10% of the patients; in all, 26% had either one or both of these manifestations. A positive correlation was found between the presence of one or both types of lesion and age of the patients (P = 0.032); there were no differences as regards ferritin and hematocrit levels, number of transfused units, chelation therapy, and splenic status between patients with PXE/AS findings and those without. The pathogenesis of these connective tissue manifestations at such a high frequency in beta-thalassemia is not clear; the possibilities of it's being acquired or inherited are discussed, the former being considered to be the more economical interpretation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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