Role of iron in the natural history and clinical course of hepatitis C disease

Hepatogastroenterology. 1998 Mar-Apr;45(20):349-55.


The following review evaluates the current data implicating a role for hepatic iron in enhancing the liver injury in patients with chronic hepatitis C infection. Iron removal lowers transaminases, but doesn't appear to improve responsiveness to interferon-alpha therapy. An important effect of iron removal might be to delay progression of liver injury to fibrosis and cirrhosis. Until such a hypothesis is disproven, phlebotomy therapy for even mildly iron-loaded HCV patients is recommended.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / complications
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / metabolism*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / therapy
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Iron Overload / complications*
  • Iron Overload / prevention & control
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Phlebotomy


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Iron