Hemochromatosis: Association of severity of iron overload with genetic markers

Academic Article


  • We postulated that the severity of iron overload in homozygous hemochromatosis probands is related to the expression of HLA-A3 or D6S105 allele 8. Therefore, we used these markers to characterize Alabama hemochromatosis probands and normal control subjects. We then quantified the blood removed by phlebotomy to exhaust body iron stores and maintain normal serum ferritin concentrations in our hemochromatosis probands. Induction and maintenance phlebotomy requirements were significantly greater in presumed HLA-A3 homozygotes or in D6S105 allele 8 homozygotes than in homozygous probands lacking these markers. Intermediate values were observed in probands who were HLA-A3 or allele 8 heterozygotes, respectively. We also analyzed data from males and females separately. Among subjects of the same sex, the induction and maintenance phlebotomy requirements in subjects presumed to be HLA-A3 homozygotes or in allele 8 homozygotes were greater than those of other groups. Our results support the hypothesis that the severity of iron overload in hemochromatosis is determined predominantly by genetic factors, and provide evidence that two or more mutations for hemochromatosis exist. However, the design of our study does not permit a distinction to be made between allelic and locus heterogeneity for the hemochromatosis gene(s).
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Barton JC; Harmon L; Rivers C; Acton RT
  • Start Page

  • 195
  • End Page

  • 204
  • Volume

  • 22
  • Issue

  • 3