Favism in Al-Fateh Children Hospital : A Case Series

Original article


Nourz A. Gheriani, Suliman M. Elbargathy

AL-Fateh Children, Benghazi-Libya

Garyounis Medical Journal Vol.20,No.1.2003:57-68


Objectives: to outline the characteristics of favism in Al-Fateh Children Hospital and compare them with those reported elsewhere. Setting: Al-Fateh Children Hospital, Benghazi. Libya. Materials and
Methods: Patients presenting with features of favism were investigated and their demographic features, mode of presentation, severity and the kind of management were analysed. Study period: 6 months(from 1st December 2001 to 31st May 2002). Results: 18 patients had favism crisis during the study period. Male to female ratio was 2.6:1. Most of the cases were between 1-3 years of age. 88.9% were incident patients, and only 11% of them were born to Libyan mothers. The commonest trigger of the hemolysis in our series was cooked fava beans (55.55%). One patient had it by fava beans pollen inhalation and another one through breast milk. All patients had pallor, jaundice, and discolored urine and no patient had signs of heart failure or shock. Hepatomegaly and splenomegaly were present in 22.2% and 16.67% of patients respectively. Hemoglobin values were lower than 7 gm/dl in 66.67% of patients, reticulocyte counts ranged from 3 to 15% and unconjugated bilirubin values ranged from 2.5 to 16.5 mg/dl. Dye decolorization screening test was applied for 14 patients 2 to 3 weeks after recovery. Not surprisingly, all were labeled as normal (non-deficient of G6PD). Conclusion: Our findings were generally comparable to those reported elsewhere. It seems that the carrier rate of the mutated gene in Libyan mothers is lower than that reported in nearby countries. Red blood cell-G6PD could be estimated confidently by spectrophotometric methods while patients are in a steady-state (6-8 weeks after recovery).

Keywords: Favism, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, hemolytic anemia, G6PD screening tests, Benghazi, Libya.