Background: Hypoparathyroidism is one of the most important endocrine complications of thalassemia major. This study was conducted to evaluate the prevalence of intracerebral calcifications in patients with thalassemia with and without hypoparathyroidism. Methods: 47 beta-thalassemia patients with hypoparathyroidism underwent a brain CT scan to investigate the presence and extent of intracerebral calcification. 30 age- and sex-matched beta-thalassemic patients with normal parathyroid function who had undergone brain CT for headache, or some other minor neurologic problems were also enrolled in the study serving as controls. The amount of intracerebral calcification, hematologic parameters, and some clinical findings were compared between both groups. Results: Intracerebral calcification was present in 54.2% of beta-thalassemia patients with hypoparathyroidism. The most frequent sites of calcification were basal ganglia, and frontoparietal areas of the brain. Thalami, internal capsule, cerebellum and posterior fossa were other less frequently calcified regions of the brain. In contrast, there was no evidence of intracerebral calcifications in the 30 thalassemic patients with normal parathyroid function. There was not a statistically significant difference between serum ferritin concentrations in thalassemia patient with hypoparathyroidism and those with normal parathyroid function (2781 vs. 2178, P > 0.05). Conclusion: Intracranial calcification is a common finding in thalassemia patients with hypoparathyroidism, it can be extensive and involves most regions of the brain.
- Beta-thalassemia major
- Intracerebral calcification
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging