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Iron Overload and increased Liver Iron Concentration

Risk of Iron Overload and increased Liver Iron Concentration

Iron overload is an increased iron concentration in the body, especially the liver iron concentration will be high. Excess iron in the liver, even in mild cases of iron overload, increases the risk for liver disease (liver cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcimoma) and later heart attack or heart failure, diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, hypothyroidism, hypogonadism, numerous symptoms and in some cases premature death. Iron mismanagement resulting in iron overload can accelerate such neurodegenerative diseases as Alzheimer's, early-onset Parkinson's, Huntington's, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.

Causes of Iron Overload and increased Liver Iron Concentration

Iron overload can be inherited (genetic) or liver iron concentration can be increased by receiving numerous blood transfusions, getting iron shots or injections, or consuming high levels of supplemental iron. Some of the genetic disorders that result in iron overload include are hereditary hemochromatosis (all types), African iron overload, sickle cell disease, thalassemia, X-linked sideroblastic anemia, enzyme deficiencies (pyruvate kinase; glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) and very rare protein transport disorders aceruloplasminemia and atransferrinemia. None of these conditions should be confused with polycythemia vera (PV), which is not an iron disorder, but a condition where the bone marrow produces too many blood cells (red, white and platelet). People with PV have abnormally high hemoglobin and are at risk for a stroke and progressing to acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Part of the therapy for PV is phlebotomy.

Therapy of Iron Overload and increased Liver Iron Concentration

Therapy of iron overload is iron reduction therapy. A person's hemoglobin is key in the physician's decision of iron reduction therapy. If the patient's hemoglobin level is sufficient to tolerate blood removal (phlebotomy), the doctor can provide either an order for therapeutic phlebotomies or can recommend that a patient routinely donate blood. When a patient's hemoglobin is too low for phlebotomy, iron reduction will likely require be iron-chelation. In some situations the physician may use a combination of these two therapies

Contact us regarding "Iron Overload"
or call Tilo Stolzke at +49 451 400 83 01 directly.

Studies and publications on Iron Overload

  • Nelson, J. E., Mugford, V. R., Kilcourse, E., Wang, R. S., Kowdley, K. V. Relationship between gene expression of duodenal iron transporters and iron stores in hemochromatosis subjects. Am. J. Physiol. Gastrointest. Liver Physiol. (2010). 298: G57-G62
  • Queiroz-Andrade, M., Blasbalg, R., Ortega, C. D., Rodstein, M. A. M., Baroni, R. H., Rocha, M. S., Cerri, G. G. (2009). MR Imaging Findings of Iron Overload. RadioGraphics 29: 1575-1589
  • Valenti, L., Girelli, D., Valenti, G. F., Castagna, A., Como, G., Campostrini, N., Rametta, R., Dongiovanni, P., Messa, P., Fargion, S. (2009). HFE Mutations Modulate the Effect of Iron on Serum Hepcidin-25 in Chronic Hemodialysis Patients. CJASN 4: 1331-1337
  • Adams, P. C., Pankow, J. S., Barton, J. C., Acton, R. T., Leiendecker-Foster, C., McLaren, G. D., Speechley, M., Eckfeldt, J. H. (2009). HFE C282Y Homozygosity Is Associated With Lower Total and Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol: The Hemochromatosis and Iron Overload Screening Study. Circ Cardiovasc Genet 2: 34-37
  • McLaren, G. D., Gordeuk, V. R. (2009). Hereditary hemochromatosis: insights from the Hemochromatosis and Iron Overload Screening (HEIRS) Study. ASH Education Book 2009: 195-206
  • Valenti, L., Dongiovanni, P., Fracanzani, A. L., Fargion, S. (2008). Bloodletting Ameliorates Insulin Sensitivity and Secretion in Parallel to Reducing Liver Iron in Carriers of HFE Gene Mutations: Response to Equitani et al.. Diabetes Care 31: e18-e18
Iron overload - liver iron concentration