Anaesthesia for a patient with β-thalassaemia

  • Iosifina Giannakikou Ygeia Hospital of Athens
  • Alexandra Karra Medical Center of Athens
Keywords: anaesthesia, β-thalassaemia, laparoscopic cholecystectomy, non-cardiac surgery, pathophysiology


β-Thalassaemia is a rare hereditary disease caused by partial or complete deficiency of β-haemoglobin chain synthesis. There is a lot of literature regarding anaesthetic management in other haemoglobinopathies (i.e. sickle cell disease), especially in the paediatric population, but there is scarce information regarding β-thalassaemia major in adults. With current medical management, β-thalassaemia major patients survive to adulthood and may present for a variety of surgical procedures, even unrelated to their disease process. It is important for the anaesthetist to be familiar with the pathophysiology of β-thalassaemia major and how the disease itself and its treatment or complications (iron deposition from multiple transfusions) can affect anaesthesia. A case of a 51-year-old woman with severe β-thalassaemia undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy is presented. The anaesthetic management and systematic review of the perioperative concerns in severe β-thalassaemia are discussed.

Author Biographies

Iosifina Giannakikou, Ygeia Hospital of Athens
MD Attending Anaesthesiologist Ygeia Hospital of Athens
Alexandra Karra, Medical Center of Athens
MD Attending Anaesthesiologist Department of Intensive Care Unit Medical Center of Athens
Case Studies