Stainable iron in gastric and duodenal mucosa of primary hemochromatosis patients and alcoholics

D. Conte, P. Velio, L. Brunelli, C. Mandelli, M. Cesana, L. Ferrario, M. Quatrini, P. A. Bianchi

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The presence of iron in gastric and duodenal mucosa was investigated with Perls' stain in endoscopic biopsies from 13 patients with overt primary hemochromatosis, 10 chronic heavy alcohol abusers, and 10 patients with nonulcer dyspepsia. In the primary hemochromatosis patients marked iron depositon was found in cells at the base of glands in the gastric body and antrum in nine cases, and in crypt cells and Brunner gland cells of the duodenum in six. Iron was detected in the lamina propria of the stomach in five and duodenum in four cases. A similar distribution of iron overload, usually of lesser degree, was also observed in five alcoholics. Serum ferritin levels and the degree of gastric and/or duodenal iron deposits did not correlate in either hemochromatosis patients or alcoholics. No gastric or duodenal siderosis was observed in nonulcer dyspepsia cases. The absence of gastric and duodenal stainable iron in some hemochromatosis patients and its presence in some alcoholics suggests that the diagnostic value of upper gastrointestinal biopsy in primary hemochromatosis is limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-240
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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