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High prevalence of haemosiderin accumulation in the cytoplasm of gastric glands in patients with liver cirrhosis
  1. H Hattori
  1. Department of Pathology, Kariya General Hospital, Kariya, Aichi, Japan
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr H Hattori
 Department of Pathology, Kariya General Hospital, Sumiyoshicho 5-15 Kariya, Aichi 448-0852, Japan;


Aims: To investigate the presence of iron in biopsy and resection specimens from the stomach of patients with hepatic cirrhosis of various aetiologies.

Methods: Among 753 patients who had been admitted to the hospital with liver cirrhosis from 1984 to 2002, and 723 patients who underwent liver biopsy or liver resection from 1990 to 2003, 426 patients with concomitant gastric biopsy or gastrectomy were selected for study. Formalin fixed, paraffin wax embedded tissues of the stomach and the liver (when available) were retrieved from the pathology files of Kariya General Hospital, Japan. Haematoxylin and eosin staining and Perls’ stain were performed for all the available tissues and haemosiderin and its localisation were examined.

Results: In total, 78 patients—72 of those with cirrhosis (26%) and six without cirrhosis (4%)—showed accumulation of haemosiderin. Regardless of aetiology, patients with clinical varices showed more frequent haemosiderin accumulation (40%) than patients without varices (19%). For patients with cirrhosis, there were no significant differences in the positive rate between those with (28%) or without (23%) hepatocellular carcinoma.

Conclusion: The significant increase in haemosiderin deposition in the gastric glands of patients with cirrhosis suggests that the assessment of iron deposition in gastric biopsy specimens may have predictive value in controlling patients with cirrhosis.

  • oesophagogastric varices
  • haemosiderosis
  • iron overload
  • stomach
  • portal hypertensive gastropathy
  • H&E, haematoxylin and eosin
  • HCC, hepatocellular carcinoma
  • PHG, portal hypertensive gastropathy

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