MR marrow signs of iron overload in transfusion-dependent patients with sickle cell disease
Magnetic resonance (MR) marrow signal in the axial and appendicular skeleton of 13 transfusion-dependent and chelated pediatric patients with sickle cell anemia (SSD) was compared with marrow signal in six non-transfusion-dependent patients with SSD. Hepatic, pancreatic, and renal MR signal were also evaluated. Indication for hypertransfusion therapy was primarily prior history of stroke. Transfusion-dependent patients had evidence of iron deposition throughout the imaged marrow and the liver, despite deferoxamine chelation therapy. Non-transfusion-dependent patients did not demonstrate grossly apparent signs of iron overload. Red marrow restoration was present in the spine, pelvis, and long bones and, in some patients, within the epiphyses. Marrow edema secondary to vaso-occlusive crises was evident in the metaphyses and diaphyses of long bones in areas of both red and fatty marrow and was best seen using fat-saturated T2-weighted imaging techniques.