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Gastroenterology clinic

How do I deal with a patient with elevated ferritin?

Miriam Levy

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Abstract

Deposition of iron in the body can cause a range of problems and lead to irreversible damage. Here, Dr Levy presents her approach to investigating and managing patients with elevated serum ferritin.

Article Extract

Remember
  • Think of hereditary haemochromatosis in a patient with an elevated serum ferritin.
  • Hereditary haemochromatosis is a disorder of excessive and uncontrolled iron absorption leading to accumulations of iron in the liver, heart, pancreas, pituitary, skin and joints. Iron deposition may result in: liver dysfunction, cirrhosis, congestive cardiac failure, diabetes, impotence, bronzed skin colour and arthritis. Some patients may present with only fatigue or abdominal pain.

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