Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings in Neonatal Hemochromatosis

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There are limited data on utility of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the assessment of suspected neonatal hemochromatosis (NH).


The aim of the study was to present our experience with utilization of multi-echo sequence MRI technique in the evaluation of NH and to compare MRI findings in infants with and without NH.


MRI performed for suspected NH were retrospectively reviewed to note the presence and severity of iron deposition (ID) in liver, spleen, pancreas, and kidneys on multi-echo sequences. Findings were compared in infants with and without NH.


Of 20 infants (9 boys and 11 girls; median age of 12.5 days) included in the study, 7 of 20 had NH and 13 of 20 were assigned to the non-NH group. Higher degree of pancreatic ID was seen in the NH group (P = 0.001) with 4 of 7 evaluable pancreas showing moderate-to-severe degree and 1 of 7 showing mild degree of ID whereas none of the 13 infants in non-NH group showed moderate or severe degree of pancreatic ID. Even though the severity of hepatic ID was higher in NH group (P = 0.033), variable severity of hepatic ID was seen in both groups with most infants in both groups showing moderate-to-severe degree of ID. The severity of splenic ID was not particularly associated with any group (P = 0.774) but there was no moderate or severe degree of ID in NH. Renal ID was seen in two infants in non-NH group.


A moderate-to-severe degree of pancreatic ID seen on MRI tends to be associated with NH and should be sought to establish a timely diagnosis of NH. Presence and severity of hepatic ID cannot be used for differentiation of NH from other causes of neonatal liver failure.

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