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Ferritin and Genu Joints Ultrasound in Major-Beta Thalassemia

Objective: This study aims to determine whether there is a relationship between ferritin levels and the ultrasound of genu joints in Major-beta Thalassemia patients who undergo repeated transfusions.

Methods: 43 major-beta thalassemia patients who met the inclusion criteria had their genu joint examined by ultrasonography in the Radiology Department of Dr. Moewardi Hospital Surakarta. We analyzed several variables related to synovial thickening, synovial vascularization and joint effusion in these patients.

Results: From 43 samples, the median value of ferritin was 2976.8 (702.2-8897.7) ng/mL and the median of average transfusion was 15 (5-67) times. Analysis with Mann Whitney’s non-parametric hypothesis test showed a statistically significant relation between ferritin levels and the presence or absence of ultrasonographic genu joint manifestations in general (p = 0.006) and hypoechoic synovial joint thickening (p = 0.020)

Conclusion: Major-beta thalassemia patients with ferritin levels> 2976.8 ng/mL had a 1.73 times higher risk for thickening of the synovial joints and 1.50 times higher for having genu joint manifestations. The frequency of transfusion showed a statistically significant relationship with the thickening of the synovial joint. Repeated transfusions more than 15 times increased the prevalence of the synovial joints thickening by 1.57 times.

Keywords: Ferritin; Genu; Beta-thalassemia; Ultrasound


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