To investigate the change in telomere length and TERC and TERT mutations in peripheral blood leukocytes of children with chronic aplastic anemia (CAA).
Sixty-nine children with CAA were divided into untreated group (n=24) who did not receive immunosuppressive therapy (IST), response group (n=36) who showed response to IST, and non-response group (n=9) who showed no response to IST; another 35 healthy children matched for age and sex were selected as the control group. The telomere-to-single copy gene (T/S) ratio in peripheral blood leukocytes was measured by real-time PCR in all groups. PCR was performed to detect TERC and TERT mutations in all children with CAA.
The untreated and non-response groups had significantly lower T/S ratios than the control and response groups (P<0.01), whereas there was no significant difference in T/S ratio between the response and control groups (P>0.05). TERC and TERT mutations were not found in all children with CAA.
The change in telomere length in children with CAA may be related to the development and progression of disease. Telomere length measurement may be used as a prognostic indicator in children with CAA.