Mild dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis revealed by marked hepatosiderosis

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Abstract

Summary

We report a patient in whom hepatosiderosis was diagnosed at the age of 55 years and who has since been treated by regular bleeding. The H63D mutation was found in the heterozygous state in the HFE gene. No mutation was recorded in the SLC11A3 gene (ferroportin). Hepatosiderosis did not seem primary, nevertheless its cause long remained elusive. Only 2 years ago did we find the responsible condition, a very mildly expressed form of dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis (DHS). This genetic disease is a strongly iron-loading condition. Haemolysis was fully compensated. Kalaemia was slightly elevated, suggesting a pseudohyperkalaemia that may be associated with DHS. Osmotic gradient ektacytometry allowed to assess the diagnosis of DHS. The red cell monovalent Na+ and K+ concentrations were moderately elevated and reduced respectively. The temperature dependence of the ouabain + bumetanide-resistant K+ influx produced a shallow slope, above and parallel to the control curve. These features were consistent with the diagnosis of DHS. The pronounced hepatosiderosis contrasted with the mildly expressed DHS, and with the ferritinaemia that was slightly elevated, if at all, prior to bleeding. Bleeding caused ferritinaemia to decrease and hepatosiderosis to recede. The whole picture accounts for a misleading presentation of DHS, in which the primary condition long remained hidden behind one of its remotest complications, hepatosiderosis.

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