• Inherited, chronic condition affecting the red blood cells. The red blood cells have a shortened life expectancy.
  • The hematopoietic system responds with proliferation of bone marrow, at the expense of the cancellous bone, in order to produce more red blood cells.
  • It affects mainly people from the Mediterranean area. It can be heterozygote of monozygote type.
  • Radiographic changes:
    • ‘Hair-on-end’ calvarium
    • widening of the diploic space
    • enlarged marrow spaces in all bones
    • generalized osteoporosis
    • enlargement of jaws
    • reduced size of maxillary sinus
    • thinning of all cortical structures (especially the lower border of the mandible)
    • shortened tooth roots.

Differential diagnosis



Thalassemia; different cases