The diagnosis of hemochromatosis may be suspected when there is hepatomegaly, diabetes, and skin pigmentation, with or without gonadal atrophy.1,2 Traditionally, confirmation has depended on the demonstration of hemosiderin in sections of skin2 or in epithelial cells in the urine sediment.3 With the introduction of needle biopsy of the liver, direct diagnosis of this condition seemed available.4,5 Indeed, several investigators4-6 have emphasized the value of needle biopsy in the diagnosis of this disease. Hepatic hemosiderin deposits, however, are found in other diseases as well as in the constitutional disease, hemochromatosis.1,2,7-10 Large amounts of iron-containing pigment have been demonstrated in the livers of patients with refractory or hemolytic anemia receiving multiple blood transfusions11 and/or therapeutic doses of iron salts,12 in South African natives suffering from Kwashiorkor,13 and in alcoholic patients with cirrhosis.1,2,7-10,14
In an attempt to appraise the significance of increased
ZIMMERMAN HJ, CHOMET B, KULESH MH, McWHORTER CA. Hepatic Hemosiderin Deposits: Incidence in 558 Biopsies from Patients With and Without Intrinsic Hepatic Disease. Arch Intern Med. 1961;107(4):494–503. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620040020003
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: