Facial Features and Iron Overload Detected in Buccal Smears of Thalassemia Patient: A Case Report

Mahita Reddy, Manjunatha BS, Rina Shah, Sharad Purohith


Thalassemia is a group of genetically inherited disorder of hemoglobin characterized by reduced synthesis of the alpha or beta chain of globins. Conventional treatment of ß-thalassemia major is regular blood transfusions to keep the hemoglobin levels close to normal. Iron overload is common among transfusion-dependent patients who do not receive effective iron chelation therapy. Liver biopsy and bone marrow biopsy are widely followed definitive tests for assessing iron overload. These procedures are however invasive and may not be feasible in every occasion. A 10 year old β- thalassemia child presented with carious lesions undergoing blood transfusions wherein iron overload was detected by using a simple non-invasive buccal smear stained by Perl’s Prussian blue stain.


Anemia; Blood Transfusions; β-Thalassemia Major; Cytology; Hemosiderosis; Iron Overload

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