Hereditary hemochromatosis is an autosomal, recessive disorder of the iron metabolism. The hemochromatosis gene (HFE) was previously located on chromosome 6 and recently identified by positional cloning. A point mutation, C282Y, was found to be present in the HFE gene in homozygous form in 64 to 100% of patients with established hemochromatosis. The relationship of a second polymorphic variant of the HFE gene, H63D to the formation of iron overload is debated. Although hemochromatosis is one of the most common inherited disorders among Caucasians, in the absence of specific signs it is rarely diagnosed. In order to obtain comparable epidemiological data for Hungary, we tested 1271 and 277 randomly selected, unrelated, healthy subjects for C282Y and H63D respectively. In addition C282Y testing was carried out in 58 patients suffering from liver cirrhosis, and in 191 individuals with suspected hemochromatosis. For C282Y and H63D mutation analyses polymerase chain reaction technique followed by Rsa I and Bcl I restriction enzyme digestion was used. We developed an alternative method for the detection of C282Y based on an amplification-generated Kpn I restriction site. The allele frequencies were 3.8% and 12.3% for C282Y and H63D respectively in the normal Hungarian population. There was no significant difference in C282Y allele frequencies between liver disease patients (1.7%) and the normal population. We identified 15 homozygous and 25 heterozygous individuals among 191 individuals with suspected hemochromatosis. The C282Y and the H63D allele frequencies in the normal Hungarian population were found to be similar to the allele frequencies observed in other European populations, indicating that there is a large number of individuals susceptible for iron overload in Hungary (1:700). Mutation analysis is a novel, non-invasive method in the diagnostics of hereditary hemochromatosis, which increasingly becomes part of the routine clinical work.
|Translated title of the contribution||A new method of molecular testing in the differential diagnosis of hereditary hemochromatosis|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 7 1999|
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