Management of human factors engineering-associated hemochromatosis: A 2015 update

Menaka Sivakumar, Lawrie W Powell
World Journal of Hepatology 2016 March 18, 8 (8): 395-400
This review focuses on the management of iron metabolism and iron overload experienced in the hereditary condition, human factors engineering (HFE)-associated hemochromatosis. Hemochromatosis refers to a group of genetic diseases that result in iron overload; the major one globally is HFE-associated hemochromatosis. The evolution in understanding of the most common form of hereditary hemochromatosis, being the substation of cysteine to a tyrosine at position 282 in the HFE gene, has been extensively studied Novel mutations in both HFE and non-HFE genes have been indicated in this disease which hold significance in its application for the Asia-Pacific region. In conditions with iron overload, the storage of excess iron in various body tissues leads to complications and toxic damage. The most common presenting complaint for this disease is malaise, lethargy and other non-specific symptoms. In order to diagnose hereditary hemochromatosis, there are biochemical, imaging and genetic testing options. Currently, cascade screening of affected families is preferred over population-level screening. The mainstay of treatment is venesection and the appropriate approach to treatment has been consolidated over the years. Recently, the indications for venesection therapy of hemochromatosis have been challenged and are the subject of ongoing research.

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