Unexplained hyperferritinemia is a common clinical finding, even in asymptomatic persons. When early onset bilateral cataracts are also present, the hereditary hyperferritinemia-cataract syndrome (HHCS), because of heterozygous point mutation in the L ferritin iron-responsive element (IRE) sequence, can be suspected. We sequenced the L ferritin exon 1 in 52 DNA samples from patients referred to us for molecular diagnosis of HHCS. We identified 24 samples with a point mutation/deletion in the IRE. For the 28 samples in which no IRE mutation was present, we also genotyped HFE mutations and sequenced both H ferritin and ferroportin genes. We found an increased frequency of His63Asp heterozygotes (12 of 28) but no H ferritin mutations. We identified 3 new ferroportin mutations, producing, respectively, Asp157Gly, Gln182His, and Gly323Val amino acid replacements, suggesting that these patients have dominant type 4 hemochromatosis. This study demonstrates that both L ferritin IRE and ferroportin mutations can account for isolated hyperferritinemia. The presence of cataract does not permit the unambiguous identification of patients with HHCS, although the existence of a family history of cataract was only encountered in these patients. This raises the intriguing possibility that lens ferritin accumulation might be a factor contributing to age-related cataract in the general population. Additional causes of isolated hyperferritinemia remain to be identified.