Hemochromatosis – Blood Iron Levels
In some cases, the awareness of these conditions is brought about by suspicion based on a specific clinical syndrome. In other cases, these conditions have to be excluded when faced with nonspecific liver disease abnormalities, such as elevated liver enzyme levels, hepatomegaly, or previously undiagnosed portal hypertension. In the case of hemochromatosis, the approach to early diagnosis has moved one step further, with an awareness that markers of iron overload may be present in the serum long before liver disease has developed
There are many inherited metabolic diseases that may have a pathologic impact on the liver. In many cases, the liver component of these diseases is only an epiphenomenon of a more generalized systemic disorder. Examples of such epiphenomena are glycogen and lipid storage diseases, in which hepatomegaly is a manifestation of the underlying metabolic defect, although the liver is not necessarily the major target organ. However, there are three genetically determined diseases in which the liver may be the principal target organ, with manifestations of acute, subacute, or chronic disease that may become evident in early or later life.