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This case of hemochromatosis was discovered quite by accident during an abdominal operation. Later I made a survey of the literature and will attempt here to give a short summary of the established facts and the consensus of the theories of this disease.
The disease was first described in 1882 by Hanot and Chauffard and called bronze diabetes. They described the classic triad of cirrhosis, pigmentation of the skin, and diabetes. Von Recklinghausen in 1889 showed that the pigmentation of skin and viscera was due to a deposit of hemosiderin and hemofuchsin in the tissues. He called the disease hemochromatosis and, appropriate or not, this name has persisted down to the present time.
It is a rare disease. Only three cases occurred in 106,000 admissions to the Johns Hopkins Hospital and only four cases were found in 5,000 autopsies at the Bellevue Hospital. The only other case reported in
CREED JP. HEMOCHROMATOSIS: REPORT OF AN EARLY CASE. JAMA. 1935;105(15):1185–1186. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760410029010
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