T2* Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of Pancreatic Iron Overload and its Relation With the Diabetic State in Thalassemic Patients

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The present study was performed to evaluate pancreatic hemosiderosis by means of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) T2* and its relation to the diabetic state in thalassemic patients. One hundred thirty transfusion-dependent thalassemic patients from Zafar adult thalassemia clinic, Tehran, Iran, were enrolled in the study. Data such as age, type of thalassemia, age at diagnosis, transfusion duration, ferritin level, and fasting blood sugar results were gathered. Pancreatic MRI T2* was performed for all patients. One hundred four thalassemic patients with no sign of diabetes mellitus and 26 thalassemic patients with diabetes mellitus entered the study. Out of a total of 130 patients, 102 had pancreatic hemosiderosis. Among them, 23 of 26 diabetic patients (88.5%) and 79 of 104 nondiabetic patients (76%) showed pancreatic hemosiderosis, indicating no statistically significant difference between the 2 groups. The mean pancreatic MRI T2* relaxation time for all patients was 13.99±12.43 ms. The mean relaxation was 13.62±8.38 and 14.08±13.28 ms for diabetic and nondiabetic patients, respectively, showing no statistical difference (P=0.202). In conclusion, we did not find a significant difference between diabetic and nondiabetic thalassemic patients regarding the MRI T2* relaxation time readings or the rate of pancreatic hemosiderosis. We recommend performing studies with a higher sample size and including patients from different age groups to further evaluate the role of T2* MRI of pancreatic iron overload and its relation with the diabetic state in thalassemic patients.

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