Heart T2* for prediction of cardiac complications in well-treated thalassemia major patients
Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance volume 14, Article number: P195 (2012)
T2* Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technique allows noninvasive quantification of organ-specific iron burden, playing a key role in the management of thalassemia major (TM) patients. There are few data on the incidence of heart failure and arrhythmias in TM patients according to baseline T2* values. So, the aim of this study was to establish prospectively the risk of cardiac complications in a large cohort of well-treated TM patients.
We considered 527 TM patients (252 males, mean age 30±9) for who clinical data relative to a period of 5 years after the first MRI were collected in a central data base. At time of the first scan mean ferritin levels were1653±1559 ng/l, global heart was 27±13 ms, and excellent/good level of compliance were present in the 96% of the study population.
At 5 years of follow-up, we recorded 24 cardiac events: 4 episodes of cardiac failure, 15 of arrhythmia, 1 of pulmonary hypertension and 4 of other cardiac complications. The majority of these events (21/24) happened within the first 24 months subsequent to the MRI, so we considered this follow-up period.
At the first MRI scan, in patients with cardiac complications the global heart T2* was 22.5 ±12.4 ms. In comparison with global heart T2* values ≥20 ms, there was not a significantly increased risk of cardiac complications associated with global heart T2* values <20 ms (HR= 2.028 P=0.09).
In the heart failure patients the global heart T2* was 19±12 ms. In comparison with global heart T2* values ≥20 ms, there was not a significantly increased risk of heart failure associated with global heart T2* values <20 ms (HR=1.9 P=0.524) or <10 ms (HR=2.6 P=0.443).
In the arrhythmic patients the global heart T2* was 25±13 ms. In comparison with global heart T2* values ≥20 ms, there was not a significantly increased risk of arrhythmia associated with global heart T2* values <20 ms (HR=2.1 P=0.179) or <10 ms (HR=0.8 P=0.824).
During the follow up changes in the chelation therapy (type and/or dose-frequencies) were found in > 25% of the study population.
We detected very few cardiac events, almost all concentrated in the first 24 months. In a large cohort of well-treated TM patients heart T2* lost its power in predicting cardiac events probably due to a patient-specific adjustment of the chelation therapy MRI-guided.
“No-profit” support by industrial sponsorships (Chiesi, Apotex and GE Healtcare) and “Ministero della Salute, fondi ex art. 12 D.Lgs. 502/92 e s.m.i., ricerca sanitaria finalizzata anno 2006” e “Fondazione L. Giambrone”.
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Pepe, A., Meloni, A., Rossi, G. et al. Heart T2* for prediction of cardiac complications in well-treated thalassemia major patients. J Cardiovasc Magn Reson 14 (Suppl 1), P195 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1186/1532-429X-14-S1-P195