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Neonatal haemochromatosis

Neonatal haemochromatosis

Histopathology 17(4): 345-351

Four cases of neonatal haemochromatosis presenting as fulminant hepatic failure in the newborn were diagnosed by autopsy. In all four cases the diagnosis was made by histochemical demonstration of excessive iron deposition in hepatocytes and extrahepatic parenchymal cells, particularly pancreatic acinar epithelium, thyroid follicular epithelium and distal renal tubules. No haemosiderin was detectable in the extrahepatic mononuclear-phagocytic cells of the spleen, lymph nodes and bone marrow. The liver was the most severely affected organ. The hepatic haemosiderosis was associated with massive hepatocellular necrosis of prenatal onset in three patients, one of whom showed formation of regenerative nodules, establishing true congenital cirrhosis. Other inconstant findings included giant cell transformation, diffuse sinusoidal fibrosis with segregation of small groups of hepatocytes and cholestasis with pseudoacinar change of liver cell plates. The fetal liver disease had its onset in the late second trimester of pregnancy and was reflected clinically by severe panhypoproteinaemia with non-immune hydrops; hyperbilirubinaemia and haemorrhagic diatheses were apparent in the newborn. Neonatal haemochromatosis is a metabolic disorder, probably of autosomal recessive inheritance. The site and nature of the basic defect remain uncertain. Pathologists should be aware of this condition and its potential recurrence in subsequent pregnancies.

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Accession: 040780883

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PMID: 2258173

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2559.1990.tb00739.x

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