Six sickle cell/β-thalassemia patients (3 males and 3 females) were treated with 500 U/kg body weight human recombinant erythropoietin (h-rEPO) along with 300 mg/day iron sulfate in two phases, for a period of 90 days. Fetal hemoglobin (HbF) was assayed every 2 weeks and the γ-chain ratio at three successive intervals during the treatment. All patients showed a moderate to high increase in their HbF values (1.25- to 12-fold). The γ-chain ratio, as determined by high performance liquid chromatography was found to be unaffected by the HbF increase. Two patients with the newborn γ-chain ratio, responded faster to the h-rEPO treatment and achieved higher HbF values than the rest of the group. The h-rEPO treatment was very well tolerated and had a positive effect on the general clinical condition of all the patients.

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