Magnetic resonance imaging of splenic iron overload
Cone-Beam Computed Tomography
The value of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in assessing iron overload in the spleen was retrospectively investigated in 40 consecutive patients. MR appearance, measure of signal intensity and T1- and T2-relaxation times were correlated with the histologically determined level of iron in the spleen in each patient. Histologic examination revealed no iron overload in 19 patients, mild iron overload in seven, moderate iron overload in six, and severe iron overload in eight. All 19 patients with no splenic iron overload and 11 of the other 21 patients with splenic iron overload were correctly identified by MR imaging (sensitivity 52%, specificity 100%, accuracy 75%). Splenic iron overload was diagnosed when a decrease of signal intensity of the spleen compared with those of adipose tissue and renal cortex was demonstrated. MR images demonstrated all eight cases of severe, three of the six cases of moderate, and none of the seven cases of mild iron overload. Only spleens with severe iron overload had a significant mean decrease in signal intensity and T1- and T2-relaxation times. Although specific, MR imaging is poorly sensitive to splenic iron overload.