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March 1984

Liver Damage in Disorders of Iron Overload: A Hypothesis

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Hematology/Oncology, the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville.

Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(3):621-622. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.00350150235046

• The pathogenesis of liver damage in patients with iron loading disorders is not explained. Evidence concerning the following hypothesis is reviewed: Iron, absorbed from the intestinal tract when transferrin saturation is complete or almost so, remains unbound and is lost into the liver on first passage through the portal circulation. By still-to-be-determined molecular events, unbound iron is toxic to liver cells and produces progressive damage when this process occurs repeatedly.

(Arch Intern Med 1984;144:621-622)

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