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Intern Med J. 2012 Sep;42(9):990-6.

Spin density projection-assisted R2 magnetic resonance imaging of the liver in the management of body iron stores in patients receiving multiple red blood cell transfusions: an audit and retrospective study in South Australia.



To assess the impact of non-invasive monitoring of liver iron concentration (LIC) on management of body iron stores in patients receiving multiple blood transfusions.


A retrospective audit was conducted on clinical data from 40 consecutive subjects with haemolytic anaemias or ineffective haematopoiesis who had been monitored non-invasively for LIC over a period of at least 1 year. LIC was measured with spin density projection-assisted proton transverse relaxation rate-magnetic resonance imaging.


Nineteen clinical decisions were explicitly documented in the case notes as being based on LIC results. Decisions comprised initiation of chelation therapy, increasing chelator dose, decreasing chelator dose and change of mode of delivery of deferioxamine from subcutaneous to intravenous. The geometrical mean LIC for the cohort dropped significantly (P= 0.008) from 6.8 mg Fe/g dry tissue at initial measurement to 4.8 mg Fe/g dry tissue at final measurement. The proportion of subjects with LIC in the range associated with greatly increased risk of cardiac disease and death (>15 mg Fe/g dry tissue) dropped significantly (P= 0.01) from 14 of 40 subjects at initial measurement to 5 of 40 subjects at final measurement. No significant changes in the geometrical mean of serum ferritin or the proportion of subjects with serum ferritin above 2500 or 1500 µg/L were observed.


The data are consistent with previous observations that introduction of non-invasive monitoring of LIC can contribute to a decreased body iron burden through improved clinical decision making and improved feedback to patients and hence improved adherence to chelation therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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