Liver stiffness assessed by transient elastography in patients with β thalassaemia major

Giovanna Ferraioli, Raffaella Lissandrin, Carmine Tinelli, Luigia Scudeller, Federico Bonetti, Mabel Zicchetti, Filomena Longo, Mauro Murgia, Stefano Bernuzzi, Marco Zecca, Paolo Casula, Antonio Piga, Carlo Filice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rationale for the study. This cross-sectional multicenter study was conducted to investigate any difference in liver stiffness measurements (LSM), evaluated by transient elastography, between patients affected by β thalassaemia major, with and without hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, and healthy blood donors (controls). Secondary aim was to assess any correlation between transient elastography and serum ferritin, liver magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) T2* or superconductive quantum interference device (SQUID) liver susceptometry values. Materials and methods. The study involved three centers. Transient elastography and MRI T2* examinations were performed in all centers. SQUID liver susceptometry was performed in center1 and center2. T-test for independent data or Mann-Whitney U test was used to analyse differences between two groups. Univariate Pearson’s r coefficient was used to test correlations between liver stiffness measurements and all other variables. Results. In a study with 119 patients and 183 controls, patients who had never been infected with HCV showed significantly higher LSMs than controls [5.7 (95% CI, 5.2-6.2) kPa vs. 4.3 (95% CI, 4.1-4.4) kPa, p <0.0001]. A moderate correlation between LSMs and ferritin values, adjusted for gender and age, was found in patients (r = 0.49, p <0.0001) but not in controls (r = -0.22, p = 0.6). No correlation between LSMs and MRI T2* or SQUID liver susceptometry values was observed. In conclusion, compared to controls β thalassaemia major patients had a significant increase in LSMs independently from HCV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-417
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Hepatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2016


  • Liver fibrosis
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Sonoelastography
  • Superconductive quantum interference device

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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