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Folia Morphol (Warsz). 2019 Mar 5. doi: 10.5603/FM.a2019.0025. [Epub ahead of print]

Influence of hereditary hemochromatosis on left ventricular wall thickness: does iron overload exacerbate cardiac hypertrophy?

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Clinical Centre of Cardiology, University Clinical Centre, Gdańsk, Poland.
Department of Cardiology and Electrotherapy, Medical University of Gdańsk, Poland.
Department of Tropical Medicine and Epidemiology, Medical University of Gdańsk, Poland.
1st Department of Cardiology, Medical University of Gdańsk, Poland.
Department of Cardiology and Electrotherapy, Medical University of Gdańsk, Poland.



The left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy increases the risk of heart failure. Hypertension and infiltrative cardiomyopathies are the well-known reasons of LV hypertrophy. The growing interest of scientists in this issue affects hereditary hemochromatoris (HH), which characterizes by the excess deposition of iron mostly due to HFE gene mutation. The aim of our study was to investigate the possible influence of HH on LV parameters in patients with early-diagnosed (early HH) and long-lasting and long-treated (old HH) disease.


Thirty nine early HH and 19 old HH patients were prospectively enrolled in the study; age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers constituted the appropriate control groups. All participants had echocardiography performed (including three-dimension volume and mass analysis); the iron turnover parameters were measured at the time of enrolment in every HH patients.


Echocardiographic parameters regarding to left atrium (LA), LV thickness, mass and long axis length were significantly higher, whereas LV ejection fraction was lower in early HH in comparison to healthy persons. In old HH patients the differences were similar to those mentioned before, except LV ejection fraction. The presence of hypertension in both HH groups did not influence echo parameters, as well as diabetes in old HH. The strongest correlation in all HH group was found between the time from HH diagnosis and LA, LV thickness and volumes parameters, but the correlations between iron turnover and echo parameters were non-existent.


Hereditary haemochromatosis, not only long-lasting, but also early-diagnosed, could lead to exacerbation of left ventricular wall thickness and cardiac hypertrophy. This effect is not simply connected with hypertension and diabetes that are frequent additional diseases in these patients, but with the time from HH diagnosis.


arterial hypertension; diabetes mellitus; echocardiography; heart morphology; heart siderosis; hereditary hemochromatosis; left ventricle hypertrophy

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