T2* Relaxometry in Liver, Pancreas, and Spleen in a Healthy Cohort of One Hundred Twenty-Nine Subjects–Correlation With Age, Gender, and Serum Ferritin

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Objective:To assess T2* values of liver, pancreas, and spleen in a healthy cohort and to compare the gained values with serum ferritin levels and anthropometric data. In addition, the relationship of T2* between the 3 organs was investigated.Materials and Methods:One hundred twenty-nine healthy subjects (85 women, 44 men) were examined on a 1.5-T magnetic resonance whole-body unit. Age ranged from 20 to 70 years (mean age, 47.9 ± 11.4 years). A multislice fat-saturated breath-hold 2D multiecho gradient-echo sequence was applied for T2* measurement. To assess T2* values of the liver, pancreas, and spleen, T2* maps were calculated. The correlation of organ T2* with serum ferritin and anthropometric data (age, gender, body mass index) was investigated.Results:Measurement of T2* was feasible in all volunteers. A gender-related analysis revealed significant higher hepatic and splenic T2* values for women than for men (P < 0.01). For the pancreas, these differences could not be found. A significant negative correlation was found between hepatic T2*, splenic T2*, and serum ferritin (r = −0.62 liver, r = −0.64 spleen; P < 0.0001). In contrast, no such relationship was found for pancreatic T2* (r = −0.15). For women, a statistically significant age-dependent increase was found for splenic T2* values.Conclusion:Using a fast quantitative T2* magnetic resonance imaging technique, it was possible to gain insights into the iron metabolism of a healthy cohort. Gender- and age-related differences concerning T2* and serum ferritin levels were found in the liver and spleen, but not in the pancreas.

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