Project Title

An Epidemiological Study to Assess Iron Overload Using MRI in Patients With Transfusional Siderosis (TIMES Study).

Official Title

An Epidemiological Study to Assess the Prevalence of Iron Overload Using MRI in Patients With Transfusional Siderosis (TIMES Study).

Project Summary

Iron, one of the most common elements in nature and the most abundant transition metal in the body, is readily capable of accepting and donating electrons. This capability makes iron a useful component of various, essential biochemical processes. Despite the essential role of iron, the excess of iron is toxic to the human body. It is critical for the human body to maintain iron balance, since humans have no physiologic mechanism for actively removing iron from the body.

The development of iron overload occurs when iron intake exceeds the body's capacity to safely store the iron in the liver, which is the primary store for iron. Long-term transfusion therapy, a life-giving treatment for patients with intractable chronic anemia is currently the most frequent cause of secondary iron overload.

The mounting evidence regarding the mortality and morbidity due to chronic iron overload in transfusion dependent anaemias has led to the establishment of guidelines that aim the improvement of patient outcomes. Further prospective studies are warranted in order to assess the impact of iron overload in patients with acquired anaemias.

In this study, non-invasive R2- and T2*-MRI techniques were applied to the liver and the heart, respectively, to complement the primary variable (serum ferritin) assessed in patients with various transfusion-dependent anaemias. The main objective of this study was to assess the prevalence and severity of cardiac and liver siderosis in patients with transfusional siderosis. This study was also aim to establish possible correlations between cardiac and liver iron levels with clinical effects in patients with different transfusion-dependent anaemias. Patients were eligible for enrollment irrespective of receiving chelation therapy or not (and irrespective of the chelating agent used).

This study was designed to collect information about a large cohort of patients with anaemias including MDS, aplastic anemia, Diamond-Blackfan, myeloproliferative disorder, as well as haemoglobinopathies (e.g. thalassaemia major, SCD) or other anaemias requiring chronic red blood cell transfusions.

Clinical data was collected retrospectively (if available), unless specified by this protocol (e.g. serum ferritin within less than one month prior to enrollment). All assessments required for this protocol were performed after the patient informed consent is signed. The data was gathered by all study centers and was combined in one central database.

Data was recorded using an electronic case report form (eCRF) at each study site. Adverse events and serious adverse events were recorded for all patients from the date of signed patient informed consent until the MRI tests are performed.

Blood Disorder

  • Thalassemia
  • Non-transfusional-dependent Thalassemia
  • Myeloplastic Dysplasia 
  • Other Anemia

Patient Recruitment Details

Patient recruitment status: Closed

Number of Patients (globally)

243 participants.

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