Contrast Sensitivity in Patients with Beta-Thalassemia Major and Sickle Cell Disease Under Regular Transfusions and Treatment with Desferrioxamine

Spyridon Gorezis *, 1 , Ioannis Asproudis2, Nikolaos Chalasios3, Aikaterini Karali3, Elena Tsanou1, Dimitrios Peschos4, Aikaterini Christodoulou2, Miltiadis Aspiotis2
1 Epirus Vision Center, Ioannina, Greece
2 Ophthalmology Department, University Hospital of Ioannina, Greece
3 Pediatrics Department, University Hospital of Ioannina, Greece
4 Physiology Department, University Hospital of Ioannina, Greece

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© Spyridon et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Epirus Vision Center, Panepistimiou Avenue, Ioannina, 45110, Greece; Tel: +302651067689; Fax: +302651067889; E-mail:



Evaluation of contrast sensitivity in patients with beta-thalassemia major and sickle cell disease which undergo regular transfusions and chelation therapy with desferrioxamine (DFX).

Materials and Methods:

We studied contrast sensitivity in 48 eyes (24 patients) with beta-thalassemia major (group A) and in 42 eyes (21 patients) with sickle cell disease (group B), compared to 60 eyes of 30 healthy individuals (control group). Contrast sensitivity was measured using B-VAT II-SG Mentor Video Aquity Tester.


We found no statistically significant difference between group A and group B in any spatial frequency, while we found statistically significant differences between group B and control group in all spatial frequencies studied. Between group A and control group we found statistically significant differences in spatial frequencies of 2.3, and 6 cyc/deg.


DFX causes retinal alterations that may explain reductions in contrast sensitivity function and justifies regular evaluations that may allow early detection of visual function deterioration.

Keywords: Contrast sensitivity, beta-thalassemia, desferrioxamine, sickle cell.