(See also Overview of Iron Overload Overview of Iron Overload Typical adults lose about 1 mg iron (Fe) per day in shed epidermal and gastrointestinal cells; menstruating females lose on average an additional 0.5 to 1 mg/day from menses. This iron loss... read more .)
Focal hemosiderosis can result from hemorrhage within an organ. Iron liberated from extravasated red blood cells is deposited within that organ, and significant hemosiderin deposits may eventually develop. Iron loss due to hemorrhage can still occur and cause iron deficiency anemia Iron Deficiency Anemia Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia and usually results from blood loss; malabsorption, such as with celiac disease, is a much less common cause. Symptoms are usually nonspecific... read more because iron stored in nonhematopoietic tissues cannot be reused.
Chronic inflammatory syndromes, such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) Fatty liver is excessive accumulation of lipid in hepatocytes. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) includes simple fatty infiltration (a benign condition called fatty liver), whereas nonalcoholic... read more and the metabolic syndrome Metabolic Syndrome Metabolic syndrome is characterized by a large waist circumference (due to excess abdominal fat), hypertension, abnormal fasting plasma glucose or insulin resistance, and dyslipidemia. Causes... read more , can also lead to hemosiderosis. In affected patients, abdominal MRI may show excess iron in the liver and spleen. Liver biopsies of these patients may show iron accumulation in hepatocytes and reticuloendothelial cells.
When the lungs are affected, the cause usually is recurrent pulmonary hemorrhage, either idiopathic (eg, Goodpasture syndrome Goodpasture Syndrome Goodpasture syndrome, a subtype of pulmonary-renal syndrome, is an autoimmune syndrome consisting of alveolar hemorrhage and glomerulonephritis caused by circulating anti-glomerular basement... read more ) or due to chronic pulmonary hypertension (eg, as a result of primary pulmonary hypertension Pulmonary Hypertension Pulmonary hypertension is increased pressure in the pulmonary circulation. It has many secondary causes; some cases are idiopathic. In pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary vessels may become constricted... read more , pulmonary fibrosis Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), the most common form of idiopathic interstitial pneumonia, causes progressive pulmonary fibrosis. Symptoms and signs develop over months to years and include... read more , or severe mitral stenosis Mitral Stenosis Mitral stenosis is narrowing of the mitral orifice that impedes blood flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle. The usual cause is rheumatic fever. Common complications are pulmonary... read more ).
Another common site of accumulation is the kidneys, where hemosiderosis can result from extensive intravascular hemolysis Overview of Hemolytic Anemia At the end of their normal life span (about 120 days), red blood cells (RBCs) are removed from the circulation. Hemolysis is defined as premature destruction and hence a shortened RBC life span... read more . Free hemoglobin is filtered at the glomerulus, resulting in iron deposition in the kidneys. The renal parenchyma is not damaged, but severe hemosiderinuria may result in iron deficiency.