This study was conducted to quantify the degree of osteoporosis in thalassemic patients by single energy quantitative computed tomography (SEQCT) and to test the reliability of this method. On 38 thalassemic patients with osteoporosis and 38 normal control subjects, bone mineral density (BMD) measurements were done by SEQCT. BMD and standard deviation (SD) of the x-ray attenuation numbers of pixels within region of interest (ROI) of the measurement areas were compared between two groups. Mean BMD values for thalassemic patients and control group were 173.4 and 158.2 mg/cm(3), respectively. Mean BMD value for thalassemic patient group was significantly higher. Mean SD values of ROI for control group and thalassemic patients were 41.4 and 71.1, respectively. The difference between the SD values was also statistically significant. Positive correlation was noted between SD values and patients' ages in the thalassemic group. Results of SEQCT method may not reflect the clinical and conventional radiographic findings of osteoporosis seen in thalassemic patient group and should be used cautiously. Other methods of BMD measurement, such as photon absorbsiometry and x-ray absorbsiometry, should also be investigated for their accuracy in this patient group.