European Radiology

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 2246–2252 | Cite as

Multicenter validation of the magnetic resonance T2* technique for quantification of pancreatic iron

  • Antonella Meloni
  • Daniele De Marchi
  • Laura Pistoia
  • Emanuele Grassedonio
  • Giuseppe Peritore
  • Paolo Preziosi
  • Gennaro Restaino
  • Riccardo Righi
  • Ada Riva
  • Stefania Renne
  • Nicolò Schicchi
  • Antonino Vallone
  • Angelo Peluso
  • Calogera Gerardi
  • Vincenzo Positano
  • Alessia PepeEmail author
Magnetic Resonance



To assess the transferability of the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) multislice multiecho T2* technique for pancreatic iron overload assessment.


Multiecho T2* sequences were installed on ten 1.5-T MRI scanners of the three main vendors. Five healthy subjects (n = 50) were scanned at each site. Five patients with thalassemia (n = 45) were scanned locally at each site and were rescanned at the reference site within 1 month. T2* images were analyzed using a previously validated software and the global pancreatic T2* value was calculated as the mean of T2* values over the head, body, and tail.


T2* values of healthy subjects were above 26 ms and showed inter-site homogeneity. The T2* values measured in the MRI sites were comparable to the correspondent values observed in the reference site (12.02 ± 10.20 ms vs 11.98 ± 10.47 ms; p = 0.808), and the correlation coefficient was 0.978 (p < 0.0001). Coefficients of variation (CoVs) ranged from 4.22 to 9.77%, and the CoV for all the T2* values independently from the sites was 8.55%. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) for each MRI site was always excellent and the global ICC was 0.995, independently from the sites. The mean absolute difference in patients with pancreatic iron (n = 39) was -0.15 ± 1.38 ms.


The gradient-echo T2* MRI technique is an accurate and reproducible means for the quantification of pancreatic iron and may be transferred among MRI scanners by different vendors in several centers.

Key Points

• The gradient-echo T2* MRI technique is an accurate and reproducible means for the quantification of pancreatic iron.

The gradient-echo T2* MRI technique for the quantification of pancreatic iron may be transferred among MRI scanners by different vendors in several centers.

Pancreatic iron might serve as an early predictor of cardiac siderosis and is the strongest overall predictor of glucose dysregulation.


Magnetic resonance imaging Pancreas Iron overload 



Coefficient of variation


Extension-Myocardial Iron Overload in Thalassemia


Intraclass correlation coefficient


Liver iron concentration


Magnetic resonance imaging


Region of interest


Standard deviation


Echo time



We thank the patients, who gave their availability for two MRI sessions and long-distance travel within a short time. We also thank the healthy volunteers. We thank C.S. (MRI Lab Secretary) for organization skills.


The authors state that this work has not received any funding.

Compliance with ethical standards


The scientific guarantor of this publication is Alessia Pepe.

Conflict of interest

The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies, whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article.

Statistics and biometry

One of the authors has significant statistical expertise.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects (patients) in this study.

Ethical approval

Institutional Review Board approval was obtained.


• Prospective

• Observational

• Multicenter study


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonella Meloni
    • 1
  • Daniele De Marchi
    • 1
  • Laura Pistoia
    • 1
  • Emanuele Grassedonio
    • 2
  • Giuseppe Peritore
    • 3
  • Paolo Preziosi
    • 4
  • Gennaro Restaino
    • 5
  • Riccardo Righi
    • 6
  • Ada Riva
    • 7
  • Stefania Renne
    • 8
  • Nicolò Schicchi
    • 9
  • Antonino Vallone
    • 10
  • Angelo Peluso
    • 11
  • Calogera Gerardi
    • 12
  • Vincenzo Positano
    • 1
  • Alessia Pepe
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Magnetic Resonance Imaging UnitFondazione G. Monasterio CNR-Regione ToscanaPisaItaly
  2. 2.Sezione di Scienze Radiologiche - Dipartimento di Biopatologia e Biotecnologie MedichePoliclinico “Paolo Giaccone”PalermoItaly
  3. 3.Unità Operativa Complessa di Radiologia“ARNAS” Civico, Di Cristina BenfratelliPalermoItaly
  4. 4.Unità Operativa Complessa Diagnostica per ImmaginiOspedale “Sandro Pertini”RomeItaly
  5. 5.Dipartimento di ImmaginiFondazione di Ricerca e Cura “Giovanni Paolo II”CampobassoItaly
  6. 6.Diagnostica per Immagini e Radiologia InterventisticaOspedale del DeltaLagosantoItaly
  7. 7.Struttura Complessa di RadiologiaOspedale “SS. Annunziata” ASL TarantoTarantoItaly
  8. 8.Struttura Complessa di Cardioradiologia-UTICPresidio Ospedaliero “Giovanni Paolo II”Lamezia TermeItaly
  9. 9.Dipartimento di RadiologiaAzienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Ospedali Riuniti “Umberto I-Lancisi-Salesi”AnconaItaly
  10. 10.Reparto di RadiologiaAzienda Ospedaliera “Garibaldi” - Presidio Ospedaliero NesimaCataniaItaly
  11. 11.Struttura Semplice di MicrocitemiaOspedale “SS. Annunziata” ASL TarantoTarantoItaly
  12. 12.Unità Operativa Semplice di TalassemiaPresidio Ospedaliero “Giovanni Paolo II” - Distretto AG2 di SciaccaSciaccaItaly

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