Early idiopathic hemochromatosis was diagnosed in a 52-year-old woman during the course of a hospitalization for another disorder. Quantitative studies revealed massive hepatic parenchymal siderosis and absent stainable marrow iron. Additionally, intestinal absorption and hepatic sequestration of radiolabeled iron were elevated. These studies in a patient with very early hemochromatosis, before organ damage, complement observations previously made in patients with advanced disease and provide further support for the concept that this disorder may result from impaired reticuloendothelial handling of iron.
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