Hepatic fibrosis is a complication of hereditary hemochromatosis.
Dr Olynyk and colleagues conducted a study to determine whether the product of the magnitude and duration of hepatic iron exposure is related to the risk of significant fibrosis.
The researchers retrospectively used receiver-operating characteristic curve analysis in 60 subjects who had undergone liver biopsy for assessment of hereditary hemochromatosis.
The research team determined the utility of hepatic iron concentration and age in the diagnosis of low- or high-grade fibrosis.
The team then conducted a prospective pilot study in 10 additional subjects to evaluate utility of magnetic resonance imaging measurements of hepatic iron exposure to predict fibrosis.
|Hepatic iron concentration and age had a sensitivity and specificity of 100% and 86%, respectively, for diagnosis of fibrosis|
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
18 subjects had high-grade fibrosis while 42 subjects had low-grade fibrosis.
The researchers reported that hepatic iron concentration alone was highly sensitive (100%) but of limited specificity (67%) in diagnosis of high-grade fibrosis.
The product of hepatic iron concentration and age had a sensitivity and specificity of 100% and 86%, respectively, for diagnosis of high-grade fibrosis.
The team noted that magnetic resonance imaging measurements also provided accurate assignment of subjects into fibrosis severity groups.
Dr Olynyk concluded, “Duration of exposure to iron is important in the development of hepatic fibrosis in hereditary hemochromatosis.
“The product of hepatic iron concentration and age is highly sensitive and specific for diagnosis of high-grade fibrosis and can be obtained using magnetic resonance imaging.”