Pancreatic MR imaging and endocrine complications in patients with beta-thalassemia: a single-center experience

Sevimli C., Yilmaz Y. , Bayramoglu Z. , Comert R. G. , Gul N. , Dursun M. , ...More

CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10238-021-00735-7


Iron deposition in various organs can cause endocrine complications in patients with transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia. The aim was to investigate the relationship between endocrine complications and pancreatic iron overload using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Forty patients with transfusion-dependent thalassemia (TDT) were enrolled in the study. The magnetic resonance imagings of the patients were performed using a 1.5 Tesla Philips MRI scanner. Two out of three patients had at least one clinical endocrine complication. The rate of iron deposition was 62.5% in liver, and 45% in pancreas tissue, and was 12.5% in heart tissue. Pancreatic T2* and hepatic T2* values were significantly positively correlated (p = 0.006). Pancreatic T2* and ferritin were significantly negatively correlated (p = 0.03). Cardiac T2* values were negatively correlated with fasting blood glucose (p = 0.03). Patients with short stature had significantly higher cardiac iron burden (22.3 vs. 36.6 T2*ms; p 0.01), and patients with hypothyroidism had higher liver iron concentrations (9.9 vs. 6.4 LIC mg/g; p = 0.05). The ferritin level of 841 ng/mL and liver iron concentration (LIC) value of 8.7 mg/g were detected as the threshold level for severe pancreatic iron burden (AUC 70%, p:0.04, AUC 80%, p = 0.002, respectively). Moreover, males were found to have decreased pancreas T2* values compared with the values in females (T2* 19.3 vs. 29.9, p = 0.05). Patients with higher ferritin levels over than 840 ng/mL should be closely monitored for pancreatic iron deposition, and patients with endocrine complications should be assessed in terms of cardiac iron burden.