Which clinical history findings are characteristic of iron toxicity?

Updated: Feb 04, 2019
  • Author: Clifford S Spanierman, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Miller, MD  more...
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Answer

Gastrointestinal (GI) manifestations such as vomiting and diarrhea (especially when hemorrhagic) are an important feature of acute iron toxicity. Pediatric patients who are alert and not vomiting most likely did not ingest a toxic dose of iron; in adults, however, abdominal pain and vomiting may be absent. More than four episodes of vomiting suggests significant iron toxicity. Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, even in the absence of a history of iron ingestion, should raise suspicion for iron toxicity.


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