Font Size

Hemochromatosis (Iron Overload) (cont.)


Once the diagnosis of hemochromatosis is made in an individual, screening of the first-degree relatives is of utmost importance. This is the most significant step in preventing the disease manifestations in family members of the affected person, and it is considered the standard of care.

Screening of the first-degree relatives of the patient with hemochromatosis may be done by measuring serum ferritin and transferrin saturation. Genetic testing for the HFE gene mutation has also been recommended in this population for both screening and confirmation of the diagnosis. The ages between 20-30 are generally recommended for screening of the first degree relatives.

Routine screening for hemochromatosis in the general population has undergone considerable debate. Despite its relatively significant prevalence, a population-based genetic screening (testing the entire population) for hereditary hemochromatosis is not advocated based on recent studies.

Recent studies promote screening tests for at-risk individuals who may have clinical suggestion of iron overload, such as elevated liver enzymes or early arthritis, in people of Northern European ancestry. This approach is not an established recommendation as of yet.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/20/2014

Must Read Articles Related to Hemochromatosis (Iron Overload)

Anemia Anemia can be caused by many conditions and diseases such as iron deficiency, poor learn more >>
Liver Biopsy
Liver Biopsy Liver biopsy involves the removal of a small piece of tissue from the liver. Reasons for liver biopsy is to diagnose disease, monitor disease, and monitor the e...learn more >>
Liver Blood Tests
Liver Blood Tests Liver blood tests, or liver function tests, are used to detect and diagnose disease or inflammation of the liver. Elevated aminotransferase (ALT, AST) levels ar...learn more >>

Medical Dictionary