What is the role of imaging studies in the diagnosis of iron toxicity?

Updated: Feb 04, 2019
  • Author: Clifford S Spanierman, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Miller, MD  more...
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Answer

Iron tablets remain radiopaque for a few hours postingestion, and may be visible on a kidneys, ureters, bladder (KUB) film. However, the absence of radiopacities does not rule out a significant or even potentially lethal ingestion. 

In dialysis patients, who routinely receive parenteral iron conjunction with erythropoiesis-stimulating agents for treatment of anemia, recent evidence suggests that measurement of liver iron content with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be a valuable surrogate marker for total body iron. However, while these findings challenge the current reliance on transferrin saturation and serum ferritin levels as markers of iron load, the clinical relevance of MRI for this patient population remains to be determined. [15]


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