Although hepatic iron deposition unrelated to hereditary hemochromatosis is commonly observed in cirrhosis, its clinical significance is unclear.
Dr Brown from Iowa and fellow American researchers undertook a study with the aim of examining the outcomes of cirrhotic patients with and without hemosiderosis.
The research team identified patients with an initial liver biopsy demonstrating cirrhosis between January 1993 and December 1997 using the Department of Pathology database.
The researchers then characterized patients as siderotic or nonsiderotic based on iron staining.
The researchers then reviewed participants' charts to determine outcomes.
The researchers found that siderotic patients had significantly higher ChildPugh (CP) and model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) scores.
|Effect of siderosis was reduced but remained significant after correction for the ChildPugh or MELD score|
In addition, the research team noted that their median survival without transplant was 23 months vs. 85 months in the nonsiderotics.
On univariate analysis, siderosis was associated with a hazard ratio of 2.74.
The researchers found that on multivariate analysis, the effect of siderosis was reduced but remained significant after correction for the ChildPugh or MELD score.
The team noted that Child's A cirrhotics with hemosiderosis decompensated more rapidly and had shorter median survival than those without siderosis.
The presence of siderosis is associated with more advanced liver dysfunction.
Dr Brown concluded, "Even when the effects of baseline liver function are taken into account, siderosis is associated with decreased survival and more rapid decompensation in cirrhosis."