Carriers of a hemochromatosis (HFE) gene mutation or a long (GT)n-repeat length within the HMOX1 promoter regions did not appear to have an increase in hemophilic arthropathy.

In 201 blood samples from patients with severe hemophilia A or B and 37 from patients with moderate disease, neither the presence of an HFE mutation nor a long (GT)n-repeat length was associated with an increase in joint damage. The assessment was based on Pettersson score after adjustment for disease severity, presence of inhibitors, annual joint bleeding rate (AJBR), age at Pettersson score and at clinic entrance, and birth cohort (standardized beta = 0.033 and -0.022, respectively), Lize F. van Vulpen, MD, of University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands, reported at the annual meeting of the European Association of Haemophilia and Allied Disorders.

Study subjects had a median age of 43 years, median AJBRs of 2.5 and 0.5 for severe and moderate disease, respectively, and median Pettersson scores of 22 and 4 in the groups, respectively. An HFE mutation was detected in 91 patients, and their levels of ferritin, iron, and transferrin saturation were significantly increased, but other baseline characteristic were similar in those with and without HFE mutation, and regardless of (GT)n-repeat length.

The marked heterogeneity in joint damage seen among hemophilia patients was hypothesized in this study to be associated with differences in iron handling, but the findings failed to support that hypothesis, Dr. van Vulpen concluded.

Dr. van Vulpen reported having no disclosures.