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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Hereditary Hemochromatosis. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Rationale for Treatment

Treatment for HH is typically indicated for iron overload in symptomatic patients. The goal of therapy is to reduce stored iron which may result in reversal or resolution of some symptoms and improve prognosis.
Physicians may choose to monitor the clinical status of patients with HH who are asymptomatic or those with modestly elevated ferritin levels. Treatment can then be undertaken if ferritin increases or symptoms appear.
Causes of death in patients with HH include serious medical conditions such as hepatocellular carcinoma, cirrhosis, cardiomyopathy, and diabetes. Ideally, treatment should begin before these conditions develop. The earlier HH is detected, before the onset of severe organ damage, the lower the risk of mortality.