Thalassemia other imaging findings

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Shyam Patel [2]

Overview

Imaging considerations for thalassemia includes ultrasound, CT, MRI, or MRI with T2 star sequence. An ultrasound is the least expensive test though provides the least anatomic discrimination. MRI is the most expensive test but provides the best anatomic discrimination.

Other imaging findings

  • Ultrasound: Ultrasonography of the abdomen and pelvis can be done to assess for enlargement of the liver and spleen, which sometimes occur in thalassemia. This is the least expensive test. It is usually done prior to considering a CT or MRI.
  • Computed tomography (CT): CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis can be done to assess for enlargement of the liver and spleen, which sometimes occur in thalassemia.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): MRI of the abdomen and pelvis can be done to assess for enlargement of the liver and spleen, which sometimes occur in thalassemia. This is the most expensive imaging test but reveals the most anatomic detail. It is the most accurate test for assessing liver or spleen size. If ultrasound and CT scan are unrevealing or nondiagnostic, MRI can be done. However, MRI is not a routine part of the workup for thalassemia.
  • MRI with T2 star sequence: This is a particular sequence of MRI that specifically assesses for iron overload states. MRI with T2 star of the heart or liver can help determine the degree of iron overload.[1] [2]

References

  1. Berdoukas V, Farmaki K, Carson S, Wood J, Coates T (2012). "Treating thalassemia major-related iron overload: the role of deferiprone.". J Blood Med. 3: 119–29. PMC 3480237Freely accessible. PMID 23112580. doi:10.2147/JBM.S27400. 
  2. Origa R, Piga A, Quarta G, Forni GL, Longo F, Melpignano A; et al. (2010). "Pregnancy and beta-thalassemia: an Italian multicenter experience.". Haematologica. 95 (3): 376–81. PMC 2833066Freely accessible. PMID 19903676. doi:10.3324/haematol.2009.012393. 



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