STEP 243: Hemochromatosis (CE: 1.0)


All cells in the body need an adequate supply of iron for oxidative metabolism, cell growth and proliferation, and oxygen transport. To meet these needs, humans absorb dietary iron via the intestines. Iron must be bound to protein to be utilized in these processes. Iron may also be stored in the body to provide a source of iron when physiologic demand is high as in blood loss, pregnancy, and periods of rapid growth. There may be multiple causes for iron overload including excessive ingestion of dietary iron or iron supplements and transfusion-related iron overload. The most common form of iron overload in the United States is an inherited condition called hereditary hemochromatosis (HH). This article discusses hemochromatosis in further detail, including pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of the disorder.


Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the pathophysiology for hemochromatosis
  • Reflect on diagnostic testing used for hemochromatosis
  • Discuss treatment methods for hemochromatosis



Brandy Davis

Debra H. Wisenor, BS, MT(ASCP)

George H. Roberts, EdD, MT(AMT)


Launched: 2002