• Serial echocardiographic examinations were made to study the changes in left ventricular (LV) function and wall mass in 35 patients with thalassemia followed up for 5.5 ±2 years (mean ± SD). Twenty patients received deferoxamine sulfate for 2.0 ±0.6 years (drug group) and 15 patients did not (nondrug group). Repeated blood transfusions were used to maintain the pretransfusion hemoglobin levels at 9 g/dL (90 g/L). Deferoxamine therapy improved LV function and decreased LV wall mass. Percentage shortening of LV diameter improved in the drug group (5.0%±3.9%) and deteriorated in the nondrug group (-6.8%±5.6%). Similarly, the maximum velocity of LV posterior wall motion improved in the drug group (16.1± 20.1 mm/s) and deteriorated in the nondrug group (-18.3 ±19.0 mm/s). Left ventricular wall mass decreased in the drug group when compared with the nondrug group. In a subset of the drug group, pathologic natural deterioration in LV systolic function was
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