Hepatic Hemosiderosis in Red-Spectacled Amazons (Amazona pretrei) and Correlation with Nutritional Aspects. Hemosiderosis hepática en el loro Amazónico. Hepatic haemosiderosis refers to the deposition of haemosiderin in the liver. Pathology Hepatic iron overload can be in the form of 7: diffuse heterogeneous. Haemochromatosis is an iron overload disorder characterised by a progressive increase in total body iron stores and deposition of iron in some.

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Haemochromatosis | Radiology Reference Article |

This article focus on the general principles of haemochromatosis, as well as effects of iron accumulation in the liver, the most frequently affected organ. Clinical and imaging changes in other organ systems are discussed separately:. Haemochromatosis may be primary which is a genetic disorder or secondary which can result from a variety of diseases. Primary haemochromatosis is an autosomal recessive condition due to an abnormal HFE gene, the protein product of which regulates iron absorption from the gastrointestinal tract.

This makes haemochromatosis one of the most common genetic disorders in Caucasians of Northern European ancestry. Although the genetic defect is distributed equally among men and women, the iron loss as a result of menstruation is protective, resulting in a clinical male predilection M: In men, the diagnosis usually becomes evident in middle age years of age whereas in women, clinical manifestation is delayed until the post-menopausal period.

Secondary haemochromatosis is rare and is usually seen in association with diseases that chiefly cause haemosiderosis. The distribution of iron in both RES and non-RES tissues can thus hepatics in the imaging differentiation between primary and secondary disease 6. As haemochromatosis may affect a hemosidrrosis of organ systems, patients not surprisingly may present with a variety of signs and symptoms. These are most pronounced in primary haemochromatosis and include The fundamental pathology that underlies haemochromatosis is the accumulation of iron and increase in total body iron stores as high as g and abnormal non-reticuloendothelial deposition, which in turn leads to organ dysfunction.


Haemochromatosis is distinct from, and should not hemosideorsis confused with, haemosiderosis which refers to reticuloendothelial system RES iron deposition and does not cause organ damage. General visceral features of haemochromatosis are increased organ density CT and reduced organ signal intensity MRI. Secondary imaging features include hepatomegaly, cirrhosis and signs of heart failure. The pattern of iron deposition is important. Predominant involvement of the liver, without deposition in spleen or bone marrow, is consistent with non-RES iron deposition and is characteristic of primary haemochromatosis.

Iron deposition in the spleen and bone marrow, but to a lesser degree in the liver is consistent with RES deposition and is most likely due to haemosiderosiswhich may or may not be associated with secondary haemochromatosis.

CT, although readily available, is not very sensitive for the diagnosis of haemochromatosis 6. In positive cases, marked homogenous increase in liver density HU is demonstrated, making the portal vessels and hepatic veins appear of low attenuation relative to the liver on non-contrast CT.

See the subarticle on Hemosiderosls liver iron quantification. MRI is not only the most sensitive imaging modality for the diagnosis of haemochromatosis but heoatica also able to estimate iron concentration within the liver, thus forestalling the need for repeated biopsies 6. Gemosiderosis result is low signal that is seen on all sequences, but particularly gradient echo and T2. It is useful to compare organ signal to that of skeletal muscle, with lower organ signal than muscle indicating the presence of iron.

Gradient in-phase and out-of-phase sequences are particularly useful, demonstrating changes that are the opposite of those seen in hepatic steatosis. In primary haemochromatosis, spleen and bone marrow signal are typically normal and low pancreatic signal heosiderosis usually only seen if there is cirrhosis.


Quantitative MR techniques for measuring iron deposition have been developed, consisting of multiple gradient-echo sequences with progressively increasing TEs.

Hemosiderosis in cirrhosis: a study of 447 native livers.

The degree to which signal drops can then be plotted and an estimate of iron concentration hemosiderosls. In cases with very high concentration, the method is unreliable as too little signal is returned from the liver 6. Treatment in primary disease involves frequent phlebotomy which improves symptoms such as hepatomegaly, skin pigmentation, lethargy, and abdominal pain.

However, arthritis is not affected by therapy. This also improves mild abnormalities of glucose metabolism. However, if type I diabetes mellitus has developed, insulin replacement will still be required.

Some improvement in hepatic fibrosis and cardiac dysfunction can also be expected. Secondary haemochromatosis and haemosiderosis may require iron chelation therapy, depending on heppatica underlying cause. To quiz yourself on this article, log in to see multiple choice questions. You can also scroll through stacks with your mouse wheel or the keyboard arrow keys. Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again. Thank you for updating your details. Log in Sign up.

Articles Cases Courses Quiz. About Blog Go ad-free. Hemosiddrosis and imaging changes in other organ systems are discussed separately: CNS manifestations On this page: Radiology full text – Pubmed citation.

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