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Thalassemia - New test available

City of London MRI centre
The City of London Medical Centre

A new technology is set to improve health outcomes for millions across the world who suffer from iron overload as a result of Thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder.


A new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) liver-iron test called FerriScan®,is now available at the City of London Medical Centre. FerriScan, is the world’s first regulated MRI liver iron test and provides clinicians with an alternative to painful liver biopsies previously used to measure iron overload. The City of London Medical Centre, run by diagnostic service providers, MedTel, a leading international diagnostic and imaging company, is among the first in the world to provide the technology which will improve health outcomes for the local Thalassemia community.

London has a high number of Thalassemia patients due to a diverse population. Thalassemia is an inherited disease resulting in a debilitating and severe form of anaemia. The disease particularly affects the Mediterranean, Middle East and Southern Asian populations and is highly prevalent in these communities. Patients require repeated blood transfusions which results in a toxic build up of iron in the body – especially the liver. This can be fatal if left untreated.

Mike Michael, President of the United Kingdom Thalassemia Society, who was scanned at the centre at the launch of the new test explained the benefits:


 ‘The new FerriScan technology is a great advance for the Thalassemia community and means patients will no longer have to undergo a painful and invasive liver biopsy to find out their liver iron levels. The scan is quick, painless and is accurate and we are delighted that this world leading technology is now available in London.’

The FerriScan technology enables patients to undergo a simple MRI scan to measure their liver iron concentration. MRI images are transmitted via the internet to the Resonance Health Analysis Centre in Australia where a liver iron concentration report is produced and then sent back to the MRI centre within 2 business days. This enables accurate diagnosis, treatment and management of iron overload.


Related links




  • Information on Medtel


Private Healthcare UK: News update: June 2006