hepatic iron overload

This patient underwent liver MRI to assess for liver iron overload. The T2-weighted HASTE sequence shows marked signal loss in the liver compared to the spleen. The T1-weighted gradient echo sequences were performed both in- and out-of-phase. There is signal loss between out-of-phase images (performed first) and in-phase images (performed second). This is due to paramagnetic susceptibility effect, and confirms increased liver iron.

MR may be used to quantitate liver iron, by assessing liver/muscle and liver/fat signal intensity ratios with a standardised T2* gradient-echo sequence.

1. Federle MP et al. Diagnostic Imaging: Abdomen Amirsys 2004
2. Gandon Y, et al. Non-invasive assessment of hepatic iron stores by MRI. Lancet. 363(9406):357-62, 2004

Credit: Dr Laughlin Dawes