Transient elastography in the assessment of liver fibrosis in adult thalassemia patients

Mirella Fraquelli, Elena Cassinerio, Alberto Roghi, Cristina Rigamonti, Giovanni Casazza, Massimo Colombo, Sara Massironi, Dario Conte, Maria Domenica Cappellini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transient elastography (TE) is a valuable noninvasive technique of measuring liver stiffness and a reliable tool for predicting hepatic fibrosis in patients with chronic liver disease. The role of TE in patients with β-thalassemia has not been extensively investigated. The present study aimed to evaluate the role of TE in the assessment of hepatic fibrosis in 115 adult patients with β-thalassemia major (TM) (#59) or intermedia (TI) (#56). TE was performed according to current practice. Histologic data were obtained in 14 cases. Liver iron concentration was assessed by atomic absorption spectrometry and T2* magnetic resonance. In patients with TM, the proportion of anti-HCV positive viremic patients, median serum ferritin levels, and TE values were significantly higher than in TI. In the group of 14 patients who underwent liver biopsy, a significant positive correlation was observed between liver stiffness and fibrosis stage (r = 0.73, P = 0.003). Severe fibrosis is diagnosed with a sensitivity of 60% and a specificity of 89%, whereas cirrhosis is detected with a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 92%. At multivariate analysis, the variables independently associated with TE were ALT, GGT, and bilirubin levels in both groups and, in patients with TM, HCV RNA positivity. In β-thalassemia patients, TE is a reliable tool for assessing liver fibrosis even if the influence of iron overload has to be clarified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)564-568
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Hematology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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