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Hemochromatosis

Mike participated as a test case for a LiverMultiScan™ study and discovered that his Liver Iron Concentration was elevated above normal. Instantly, Mike had reassurance from LiverMultiScan that whilst his liver was beginning to load iron, there was no evidence of any damage from this.  

When Hemochromatosis is suspected, blood tests will be done to check transferrin saturation and serum ferritin. Mike’s blood tests were mixed. His serum ferritin was normal and his transferrin saturation was significantly raised. These kinds of mixed blood results are normal within early iron loading. 

A further blood test confirmed that Mike has Hereditary Hemochromatosis. This diagnosis has also since been confirmed with both of Mike’s siblings. Mike’s parents were found only to be carriers of the condition and displayed no evidence of abnormal iron.  

Mike’s second LiverMultiScan was taken 12 months after his first one. It showed that his Liver Iron Concentration had dropped to the edge of the normal limit at 1.8mg/g.  

In the 6 months prior to his second LiverMultiScan Mike had donated several pints of blood. If he continues to donate blood regularly throughout his lifetime he should be able to avoid any liver damage related to iron overload, as should his family. 

Read Mike's story in his own words:

Like most healthy volunteers in research, I wanted to do my small part for science and medicine. It was therefore surprising when LiverMultiScan revealed iron overload in my liver. Whilst learning I had iron overload is important, I knew that it was just a precursor to potential liver damage so it was critical that LiverMultiScan also measures inflammation and fibrosis. This meant that alongside the revelation that my liver was loading iron was the instant reassurance that there had no ill effects of this so far.

Iron overload or hemochromatosis tends to be a condition that silently builds before symptoms emerge in middle age, making early diagnosis key. Hemochromatosis is also usually a genetic condition, passed through the generations from parent to child. My thoughts immediately turned to my parents. Could they also have the condition? Were their livers damaged? Thankfully, I was able to arrange a LiverMultiScan for them with speed, which showed they did not have any iron overload. Later, genetic tests would show them to be carriers, rather than sufferers of hemochromatosis. My brothers were not so lucky, with both having higher than normal iron, and both later being shown to have the necessary genetics for hemochromatosis.

My brother was able to start venesection (blood donation), but because my blood test results were not currently showing the reality of my iron loading, I had more difficulty in beginning treatment or even arranging a genetic test to confirm a diagnosis. Eventually, many months after my scan demonstrated iron overload, I was able to confirm a diagnosis of genetic hemochromatosis. I began to give blood regularly and was able to track my iron down to normal levels with LiverMultiScan. Research has shown that hemochromatosis sufferers avoid all complications such as fatigue, cancer, and arthritis with early diagnosis and blood donation, something I will now do for the rest of my life.

I’m very thankful that LiverMultiScan was able to speedily discover my iron overload and liver condition when it did. Given worst-case scenarios, the diagnosis potentially added decades to my life and my health. After the diagnosis, I was then able to reliably track my iron back down to normal levels, which offered great psychological settlement for myself and my family.

Given all that LiverMultiScan was able to do for me, I would certainly recommend it. It’s painless and easy with quick delivery of results.