Haemochromatosis is the accumulation of excess iron in the body. Most cases are genetically inherited, predominantly in an auto recessive manner. Acquired haemochromatosis usually results from repeated haemolysis and blood transfusions. Excess iron deposition is most often seen in the liver, heart, pancreas and joints.
Joint changes result from calcium pyrophosphate deposition leading destructive arthropathy in the hands and feet.
Imaging features in the hands:
- marked narrowing of the metacarpophalangeal joints of the second and third digits
- prominent bony beaks arising from metacarpal heads of affected joints is a prominent feature