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The use of shear wave elastography in patients with homozygous beta thalassemia

Patients with homozygous beta thalassemia have complex clinical complications due to the need for blood transfusions and iron overload. Liver pathology due to the latter and a high prevalence of hepatitis C infections is a major problem and can result in cirrhosis and/or hepatocellular carcinoma. Early detection of fibrosis plays an essential role in the management of these patients. Fibroscan has been shown to be a sensitive, specific and non-invasive method to detect early fibrosis. However, there are conflicting reports on the effect of liver iron on liver stiffness. This retrospective study on a cohort of thalassemia major patients at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman, using shear wave elastography, aims to clarify the relationship between liver stiffness, HCV positivity and chronic iron overload.


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