Iron, one of the most common elements in nature and the most abundant transition metal in the
body, is readily capable of accepting and donating electrons. This capability makes iron a
useful component of various, essential biochemical processes. Despite the essential role of
iron, the excess of iron is toxic to the human body. It is critical for the human body to
maintain iron balance, since humans have no physiologic mechanism for actively removing iron
from the body.
The development of iron overload occurs when iron intake exceeds the body's capacity to
safely store the iron in the liver, which is the primary store for iron. Long-term
transfusion therapy, a life-giving treatment for patients with intractable chronic anemia is
currently the most frequent cause of secondary iron overload.
The mounting evidence regarding the mortality and morbidity due to chronic iron overload in
transfusion dependent anaemias has led to the establishment of guidelines that aim the
improvement of patient outcomes. Further prospective studies are warranted in order to assess
the impact of iron overload in patients with acquired anaemias.
In this study, non-invasive R2- and T2*-MRI techniques were applied to the liver and the
heart, respectively, to complement the primary variable (serum ferritin) assessed in patients
with various transfusion-dependent anaemias. The main objective of this study was to assess
the prevalence and severity of cardiac and liver siderosis in patients with transfusional
siderosis. This study was also aim to establish possible correlations between cardiac and
liver iron levels with clinical effects in patients with different transfusion-dependent
anaemias. Patients were eligible for enrollment irrespective of receiving chelation therapy
or not (and irrespective of the chelating agent used).