Background/Aims: Hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) and chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can both result in hepatic fibrosis and cirrhosis. It has been proposed that iron overload and HCV may have potentiating effects on hepatic fibrogenesis. This study determined if HH patients with HCV would present with hepatic fibrosis/cirrhosis at a younger age and at a lower hepatic iron concentration compared to patients with HH or HCV alone. Methods: Ten patients with combined HCV and HH were compared to 13 patients who had HH alone and 24 patients who had HCV alone. All patients had advanced fibrosis/cirrhosis on liver biopsy. All HH patients were homozygous for the C282Y mutation. Results: At presentation with advanced fibrosis/cirrhosis, the mean age of the HH/HCV group was significantly lower than that of the HH group and the HCV group. The mean hepatic iron concentration was lower in the combined HH/HCV group compared to that of the HH group. Conclusions: HH patients with HCV present with advanced fibrosis/cirrhosis at a younger age and at a lower hepatic iron concentration compared to HH patients without HCV. These findings support the concept that the combination of HH-induced iron overload and HCV has a potentiating effect on hepatic fibrogenesis.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of Hepatology|
|State||Published - 2002|
- Hepatitis C