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.
- 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.