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April 1961

Idiopathic Hemochromatosis: A Variant of Portal Cirrhosis and Idiopathic Hemosiderosis

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, and the Mallory Institute of Pathology, Boston City Hospital.

Arch Intern Med. 1961;107(4):606-616. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620040132015

Few diseases so capture the imagination of medical students and physicians as does hemochromatosis, with what is widely accepted as a classical triad of liver disease, diabetes, and skin pigmentation. Most of our concepts of hemochromatosis stem from the writings of Sheldon, who in 1935 reviewed all cases reported in the world's medical writing up to that time.1 Since then much new information has become available concerning diseases of iron storage in humans and in experimental animals, and many of Sheldon's conclusions, and those of later workers who interpreted their observations according to his concepts, merit a new and critical examination. It is the purpose of this work to review the development of some of the concepts of iron storage diseases, and to direct attention to some of the problems that require further study.

Sheldon did not organize his review according to a single definition of hemochromatosis, but drew

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