Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Arq Gastroenterol. 2013 Jan-Mar;50(1):35-41.

Hfe mutations and iron overload in patients with alcoholic liver disease.

Author information

Faculty of Medicine of the University of Coimbra, 3004-504 Coimbra, Portugal.



Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is generally associated with iron overload, which may contribute to its pathogenesis, through increased oxidative stress and cellular damage. There are conflicting reports in literature about hemochromatosis (HFE) gene mutations and the severity of liver disease in alcoholic patients.


To compare the prevalence of mutations in the hemochromatosis (HFE) gene between patients with ALD and healthy controls; to assess the relation of HFE mutations with liver iron stores and liver disease severity.


Liver biopsy specimens were obtained from 63 ALD patients (during routine treatment) and 52 healthy controls (during elective cholecystectomy). All individuals underwent routine liver function tests and HFE genotyping (to detect wild-type sequences and C282Y, H63D, S65C, E168Q, E168X, V59M, H63H, P160delC, Q127H, Q283P, V53M and W164X mutations). Associations between HFE mutations and risk of excessive liver iron stores, abnormal serum ferritin, liver fibrosis, or necroinflammatory activity were assessed by multivariate logistic regression analysis.


ALD patients had significantly higher serum ferritin and transferrin saturation than controls (both P<0.05), but the distribution of HFE mutations was similar between the two groups. For ALD patients, the odds ratio for having at least one HFE mutation and excessive liver iron stores was 17.23 (95% confidence interval (CI): 2.09-142.34, P = 0.008). However, the presence of at least one HFE mutation was not associated with an increased risk of liver fibrosis or necroinflammatory activity. Active alcohol ingestion showed the strongest association to increased serum ferritin (OR = 8.87, 95% CI: 2.11-34.78, P = 0.003).


s ALD patients do not present with a differential profile of HFE mutations from healthy controls. In ALD patients, however, the presence of at least one HFE mutation increases the risk of having excessive liver iron stores but has no detectable effects on liver disease activity or severity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Scientific Electronic Library Online
    Loading ...
    Support Center