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September 1988

Overload of Iron in the Skin of Patients With Varicose Ulcers: Possible Contributing Role of Iron Accumulation in Progression of the Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Internal Medicine (Drs Ackerman and Rubinow), Dermatology (Dr Seidenbaum), and Radiation and Clinical Oncology (Dr Loewenthal), Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem.

Arch Dermatol. 1988;124(9):1376-1378. doi:10.1001/archderm.1988.01670090032006

• The brown pigmentation of the skin associated with venous ulceration is caused by increased local iron deposition. Diagnostic x-ray spectrometry, a method based on x-ray fluorescence analysis, was used for the noninvasive determination of iron levels in the skin of patients with venous ulceration. The mean (±SEM) iron concentration in the skin around the venous ulcer was elevated, compared with control values of nonulcerated skin (250 ± 54 vs 128 ± 39 μg) and compared with normal skin from the forearm (250 ± 54 vs 14 ± 2.5 μg). These data suggest that dermal iron deposition may not be an incidental by-product of increased venous pressure, but may actively perpetuate tissue damage in venous ulcerations.

(Arch Dermatol 1988;124:1376-1378)

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