Diagnosis and Management of Genetic Iron Overload Disorders

William C. Palmer, Prakash Vishnu, William Sanchez, Bashar Aqel, Doug Riegert-Johnson, Leigh Ann Kenda Seaman, Andrew W. Bowman, Candido E. Rivera

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Iron overload disorders lead to excess iron deposition in the body, which can occur as a result of genetic or secondary causes. Genetic iron overload, referred to as hereditary hemochromatosis, may present as a common autosomal recessive mutation or as one of several uncommon mutations. Secondary iron overload may result from frequent blood transfusions, exogenous iron intake, or certain hematological diseases such as dyserythropoietic syndrome or chronic hemolytic anemia. Iron overload may be asymptomatic, or may present with significant diseases of the liver, heart, endocrine glands, joints, or other organs. If treated appropriately prior to end-organ damage, life expectancy has been shown to be similar compared to matched populations. Alongside clinical assessment, diagnostic studies involve blood tests, imaging, and in some cases liver biopsy. The mainstay of therapy is periodic phlebotomy, although oral chelation is an option for selected patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2230-2236
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • hemochromatosis
  • iron overload

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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