In 30 children with homozygous β-thalassemia the hemostasis screening tests (bleeding time, PT, PTT), platelet count and specific assays of clotting factors were carried out 25 days after their last transfusion. PT, PTT, and bleeding time showed minor variations; considerable thrombocytosis was found in splenectomized patients. Factors IX and XII were decreased in a high proportion of patients, the vitamin K-dependent factors (II, VII, IX, X) were slightly reduced and factors I, V and VIII remained within the normal range in a majority of patients. Hepatic failure resulting in defective protein synthesis does not explain the more marked impairment of factors XI and XII, which might be secondary to activation of the intrinsic coagulation and/or kallikrein systems following intravascular haemolysis and multiple blood transfusions.

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