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Iron overload in Brazilian thalassemic patients

Author(s): Reijane Alves de Assis | Fernando Uliana Kay | Laércio Alberto Rosemberg | Alexandre Henrique C. Parma | Cesar Higa Nomura | Sandra Regina Loggetto | Aderson da Silva Araujo | Antonio Fabron Junior | Mônica Pinheiro de Almeida Veríssimo | Giorgio Roberto Baldanzi | Merula A. Steagal | Claudia Angela Galleni Di Sessa Velloso | Breno Pannia Espósito | Sandra Saemi Nakashima | Michelli da Silva Diniz | Fernando Tricta | Ronaldo Hueb Baroni | Marcelo Buarque de Gusmão Funari | John C. Wood | Andreza Alice Feitosa Ribeiro | Nelson Hamerschlak

Journal: Einstein
ISSN 1679-4508

Volume: 9;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 165;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Blood transfusion | Magnetic resonance imaging | Biopsy | Iron overload

Objectives: To evaluate the use of magnetic resonance imaging inpatients with β-thalassemia and to compare T2* magnetic resonanceimaging results with serum ferritin levels and the redox active fraction of labile plasma iron. Methods: We have retrospectively evaluated 115 chronically transfused patients (65 women). We tested serum ferritin with chemiluminescence, fraction of labile plasma iron by cellular fluorescence and used T2* MRI to assess iron content in the heart, liver, and pancreas. Hepatic iron concentration was determined in liver biopsies of 11 patients and the results were compared with liver T2* magnetic resonance imaging. Results: The mean serum ferritin was 2,676.5 +/- 2,051.7 ng/mL. A fraction of labile plasma iron was abnormal (> 0,6 Units/mL) in 48/83 patients (57%). The mean liver T2* value was 3.91 ± 3.95 ms, suggesting liver siderosis in most patients (92.1%). The mean myocardial T2* value was 24.96 ± 14.17 ms and the incidence of cardiac siderosis (T2* < 20 ms) was 36%, of which 19% (22/115) were severe cases (T2* < 10 ms). The mean pancreas T2* value was 11.12 ± 11.20 ms, and 83.5% of patients had pancreatic iron deposition (T2* < 21 ms). There was significant curvilinear and inverse correlation between liver T2* magnetic resonance imaging and hepatic iron concentration (r= -0.878; p < 0.001) and moderate correlation between pancreas and myocardial T2* MRI (r = 0.546; p < 0.0001). Conclusion: A high rate of hepatic, pancreatic and cardiac impairment by iron overload was demonstrated. Ferritin levels could not predict liver, heart or pancreas iron overload as measured by T2* magnetic resonance imaging. There was no correlation between liver, pancreas, liver and myocardial iron overload, neither between ferritin and fraction of labile plasma iron with liver, heart and pancreas T2* values.

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