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Idiopathic haemochromatosis. Pathogenic and genetic aspects. Detection and prevention

Idiopathic haemochromatosis. Pathogenic and genetic aspects. Detection and prevention

La Nouvelle Presse Medicale 8(13): 1083-1087

The basic disorder of iron metabolism in idiopathic haemochromatosis finds expression on at least two levels: the intestinal mucosa (increased iron absorption) and the liver. Its exact nature, however, remains obscure. The role of iron overload in the pathogenesis of the disorder seems clear. Lysosome disruption has recently been proposed as a possible pathogenic factor. Phenotypic family studies have lent considerable weight to the hypothesis of a recessive transmission of idiopathic haemochromatosis. Demonstration of a close link between the disease and the HLA antigen A3 and haplotype A3, B14 has made it possible: to remove all doubt as to the hereditary nature of the disease; identify the underlying gene as located on chromosome 6 near the A locus of the HLA system; demonstrate a recessive mode of transmission; and achieve the early detection of individuals at risk in the family of a patient with the disease. Thanks to this possibility of early detection, the feasability of preventive measures is greatly enhanced.

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Accession: 040346767

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PMID: 461136

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