Eight transfusion dependent patients (3 women and 5 men) with thalassemia major undergoing long-term treatment with Desferoxamine were submitted to MRI, with T2* GE sequences and low field strength. The ratio between liver mean signal intensity and skeletal muscle (L/M) and the ratio between the former and subcutaneous fat (L/F) were calculated in all patients. The results were compared with those of a control group of 7 healthy volunteers (7 men). L/M and L/F ratios were separately correlated with the following parameters: patient's age, transfusion history, serum ferritin, ferritin peak and its onset, transaminases (AST and ALT) and chelation index. The latter is a complex parameter allowing the actual assessment of iron content and of the real efficacy of chelation therapy. In all patients, both the L/M and the L/F ratios decreased significantly (L/M ratio: 0.67 ± 0.45 vs. 1.2 ± 0.21, p <0.02; L/F ratio: 0.39 ± 0.15 vs. 0.84 ± 0.11, p <0.001) relative to the control group. No significant correlation was found between the ratios and any hematochemical parameter, except for r = 0.77 (p <0.04) between L/F ratio and the chelation index. Our study demonstrates that MRI may play a major role in the examination of thalassemic patients even at low field strength and with GE sequences, which yield good quality images with a relatively short acquisition time. Thus, MRI can be suggested for routine liver studies thanks to its high quality depiction of the liver and to its qualitative and semiquantitative yield. The good correlation between L/F ratio and the chelation index permits MR evaluation of the efficacy of different chelation treatments.
|Translated title of the contribution||Iron overload in the liver of thalassemic patients: Low field strength magnetic resonance Imaging with clinical and instrumental correlations|
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 1996|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging