What is the role of hepatic iron concentration (HIC) in the diagnosis of hemochromatosis?

Updated: Apr 03, 2017
  • Author: Andrea Duchini, MD; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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Answer

Serum abnormalities of iron metabolism can be seen in 50% of patients with alcoholic liver disease, NASH, or chronic viral hepatitis. [71] These abnormalities comprise an increased ferritin level, which is sometimes accompanied with elevated transferrin saturation. Hepatic iron concentration (HIC) could be slightly elevated, but the level of HIC in patients with hereditary hemochromatosis is much higher. Patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection (HCV) who do not respond to interferon therapy usually have higher HIC than responders.

Development of noninvasive measures of hepatic iron content has generated significant interest. Many studies are focusing on the role of computed tomography (CT) scanning or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the evaluation of total iron body stores.


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