, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 317-324

The arthritis of hemochromatosis. A review of 25 cases with special reference to chondrocalcinosis, and a comparison with patients with primary hyperparathyroidism and controls

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Twenty-five cases of hemochromatosis established on histological grounds were reviewed in order to study their articular complaints. Symptoms relating to articular damage were the first signs of the disease in about one quarter of the cases. More than half of the patients (n=14) exhibited inflammatory arthritis, usually of the hands and knees. The arthritis was chronic in all the patients. Acute arthritis of the joints of the hands and feet appeared in the course of the disease in two patients. Chondrocalcinosis was present in 20% of cases with X-rays of joints (n=20). The classical subchondral arthropathy was observed in the metacarpophalangeal joints in 35% of the patients. In two patients chondrocalcinosis and subchondral arthropathy were both present. These data are compared with those of 66 patients suffering from primary hyperparathyroidism and of 229 controls with rheumatic complaints. The severity of the arthropathy in hemochromatosis is stressed.