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Predicting iron overload in hyperferritinemia

Olynyk, J.K., Gan, E. and Tan, T. (2009) Predicting iron overload in hyperferritinemia. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 7 (3). pp. 359-362.

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Background & Aims
Hyperferritinemia is a common abnormality. This study determined the prevalence of hepatic iron overload in subjects of northern European origin with hyperferritinemia.

Fifty-two consecutive subjects referred for evaluation of suspected iron overload (serum ferritin level >350 μg/L) were divided into 3 groups: group 1, increased transferrin saturation and no significant hemochromatosis gene product (HFE) mutations (N = 17); group 2, increased transferrin saturation and C282Y homozygosity or C282Y/H63D compound heterozygosity (N = 22); and group 3, normal transferrin saturation and no significant HFE mutations (N = 13). All subjects underwent magnetic resonance R2 relaxometry for quantitation of hepatic iron concentration (HIC).

The HIC was significantly higher in group 2 subjects (123 ± 22 μmol/g) compared with groups 1 and 3 subjects (39 ± 4 and 36 ± 5 μmol/g, respectively) (P < .01). Nine of 22 subjects in group 2 had an increase of their HIC to greater than 3 times the upper limit of normal compared with none in the other 2 groups (P < .01).

An increase of HIC to greater than 3 times the upper limit of normal is highly unlikely in hyperferritinemic subjects who do not have HFE-related hereditary hemochromatosis or causes of secondary iron overload.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: WB Saunders
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