[Iron as comorbid factor in chronic hepatitis C]

Med Klin (Munich). 2003 Dec 15;98(12):685-91. doi: 10.1007/s00063-003-1314-5.
[Article in German]


Hepatitis C virus infection is often associated with an elevation of iron parameters. Free liver iron causes liver damage and liver fibrosis preferentially through induction of reactive oxygen species. With an allele frequency of 5-10% for the C282Y mutation and 6-30% for the H63D mutation, there is a frequent coincidence of hemochromatosis (HFE) mutations and chronic hepatitis C. There is increasing evidence that HFE homozygosity and even HFE heterozygosity are associated with an increased liver iron concentration and liver fibrosis progression in chronic hepatitis C. In addition, present data suggest an impact of iron on the outcome of interferon therapy. Thus, HFE mutations and liver iron stores seem to be important comorbid factors in chronic hepatitis C. Screening for iron parameters and HFE mutations should be considered in patients with hepatitis C.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Comorbidity
  • Gene Frequency
  • Hemochromatosis / epidemiology*
  • Hemochromatosis / genetics
  • Hemochromatosis / metabolism
  • Hemochromatosis Protein
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / blood
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / genetics
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / metabolism
  • Heterozygote
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / genetics
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Interferons / administration & dosage
  • Interferons / therapeutic use
  • Iron / blood
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver Cirrhosis / etiology
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mutation
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Time Factors


  • Antiviral Agents
  • HFE protein, human
  • Hemochromatosis Protein
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Interferons
  • Iron