This article describes the first autopsy case of heme oxygenase (HO)-1 deficiency. A 6-year-old boy who presented with growth retardation; anemia; leukocytosis; thrombocytosis; coagulation abnormality; elevated levels of haptoglobin, ferritin, and heme in serum; a low serum bilirubin concentration; and hyperlipidemia was diagnosed as HO-1 deficient by gene analysis several months before death. Autopsy showed amyloid deposits in the liver and adrenal glands and mesangioproliferative glomerular changes in kidneys, in addition to an irregular distribution of foamy macrophages with iron pigments. Fatty streaks and fibrous plaques were noted in the aorta. Compared with HO-1--targeted mice, the present case seems to more severely involve endothelial cells and the reticuloendothelial system, resulting in intravascular hemolysis, disseminated intravascular coagulation, and amyloidosis with a short survival. This contrasts to the predominant iron metabolic disorders of HO-1--targeted mice with a long survival.
Copyright 2002 by W.B. Saunders Company