Assessment of iron load in thalassemic patients by magnetic resonance imaging: A pilot study

Kumar, P. ; Jagannathan, N. R. ; Choudhry, V. P. (2007) Assessment of iron load in thalassemic patients by magnetic resonance imaging: A pilot study Journal of Indian Medical Association, 105 (10). 561-564,591. ISSN 0019-5847

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The patients of thalassaemia major need repeated blood transfusion which leads to excess iron deposition in various organs like liver, heart, pituitary etc. This iron accumulation causes various complications and ultimately organs' failure. There is no non-invasive, standard and reliable method to know the status of iron overload in various organs of the body. This paper attempts to use magnetic resonance imaging to know the liver iron overload in 8 thalassaemic patients as a pilot study. Eight children suffering with thalassaemia and 3 controls who were the normal siblings of the patient group underwent magnetic resonance imaging of the abdomen using spin-echo T, weighted sequence. Blood serum ferritin levels in the patients' group were also determined on the same day of magnetic resonance imaging examination. It was observed that the ratio of magnetic resonance imaging signal intensity (in spin-echo T1 weighted image) in paraspinous muscle to liver was significantly different in normal control (0.65) compared to that in thalassaemia patients (2.1 to 11.4 depending upon extent of iron deposition). The magnetic resonance signal intensity ratio correlated with the blood serum ferritin level of patients (p = 0.01) which is generally taken as indirect measure of body iron burden. Spin-echo sequence is the simplest imaging sequence and it increases the chance of its routine use. The study concludes that magnetic resonance imaging has good potential to quantify the liver iron deposition non-invasively and may denote the efficacy of iron-chelation therapy which is used to reduce the body iron burden in these patients.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Indian Medical Association.
ID Code:74340
Deposited On:12 Dec 2011 04:24
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