Medline ® Abstract for Reference 21
Limitations of magnetic resonance imaging in measurement of hepatic iron.
Angelucci E, Giovagnoni A, Valeri G, Paci E, Ripalti M, Muretto P, McLaren C, Brittenham GM, Lucarelli G
To evaluate the usefulness of magnetic resonance imaging for the quantitative determination of hepatic iron, we examined 43 patients with thalassemia major and assessed the influence of pathologic changes in the liver on the precision of estimates of the hepatic iron concentration. Tissue signal intensities were measured from magnetic resonance T1-weighted images derived from gradient-echo (GE) pulse sequences and the ratio of the signal intensity of liver to muscle calculated. By excluding patients (n = 9) having a signal intensity ratio (SIR) less than or equal to 0.2, a linear relationship with hepatic iron was found and subsequent analyses were limited to these 34 patients. In 27 patients with hepatic fibrosis, an overall correlation of -0.848 was found between hepatic iron and SIR. By contrast, in the seven patients with no fibrosis, the correlation coefficient (-0.993) was significantly greater (P<.0001). Despite the differences in correlation, the regression line between hepatic iron and SIR for the patients with no fibrosis did not differ significantly with respect to either slope or intercept from that of the patients with fibrosis. Thus, the presence of fibrosis did not seem to affect the pattern of the relationship between hepatic iron and the SIR, but rather to increase the variability of the relationship. Clinically, the presence of fibrosis makes estimates of hepatic iron derived from magnetic resonance imaging so variable as to be of little practical use in the management of transfusional iron overload.
Divisione Ematologica e Centro Trapianto Midollo Osseo di Muraglia, Azienda Ospedale di Pesaro, Pesaro, Italy.