Iron Study is a Weak Indicator in Symptomatic C282Y/ H63D Co | 46236

Journal of Arthritis

ISSN - 2167-7921


Iron Study is a Weak Indicator in Symptomatic C282Y/ H63D Compound Heterozygotes

Wael Toama, Almaan El-Attrache, Neel Patel and Frederick T. Murphy

Hemochromatosis is a metabolic disease with protean manifestations including polyarthritis. It is often under diagnosed due to poor classification criteria, ambiguity in laboratory testing and the inability to obtain a histological diagnosis. The current DNA testing for hemochromatosis may not adequately identify patients at risk for indolent chronic migratory arthropathy secondary to this condition. In this case, we present a patient with compound heterozygotes of hemochromatosis laboratory testing, indolent chronic migratory polyarthritis, generalized weakness, depression and abnormal iron studies. Our subject presented to medical attention with a four-year history of indolent chronic migratory polyarthritis resulting in multiple orthopedic surgeries including right shoulder replacement and left ankle fusion. The patient?s laboratory results including Complete Blood Count (CBC) and Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) showed mild elevated liver enzymes and transferrin saturation percentage. Iron studies demonstrated mild elevation in ferritin value, but returned to normal limits with oral steroid and NSAID treatments. A thorough serologic work-up for rheumatic, immunologic and infectious diseases were within normal limits. Physical examination revealed thickening and tenderness of the meta-carpophalangeal joints. The distribution of joint involvement prompted further testing for secondary causes of polyarthritis such as hemochromatosis. Genetic testing for hemochromatosis identified the C282Y and H63D alleles of the HFE gene. The variable range of iron studies in patients with compound heterozygotes portends iron studies alone as a weak indicator of probability of the disease. Laboratory testing in classical hemochromatosis is typically associated with, elevated iron studies, elevated ferritin and transferrin saturation in addition to abnormal liver associated enzymes depending upon the duration and severity of the disease. This standard laboratory studies may not be sensitive enough to identify patients with hemochromatosis with or without associated polyarthritis early in their disease course.