Malonyldialdehyde, a product of membrane lipid peroxidation, was measured in the platelets of 16 normal subjects after stimulation with a variety of aggregating and stimulating agents. Nethylmaleimide and hydrogen peroxide generated the largest amounts of malonyldialdehyde. These agents were used to stimulate platelets from 11 patients with thalassaemia major suffering from iron overload due to repeated transfusion. Mean malonyldialdehyde concentrations were the same in normal subjects as in thalassaemic patients, but high concentrations were recorded in patients with severe iron overload. There was a highly significant correlation between malonyldialdehyde and serum ferritin concentrations in all thalassaemic patients. Platelet derived malonyldialdehyde may be a useful test of continuing membrane damage in patients with iron overload.
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