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Screening for genetic haemochromatosis in blood samples with raised alanine aminotransferase
  1. Department of Biochemistry and Haematology
  2. Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary
  3. Dumfries DG1 4AP, UK

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Editor,—Bhavnani et al(Gut 2000;46:707–10) claim to have identified 12 patients homozygous for C282Y or with compound heterozygocity at a cost of only £117 per patient identified. This astonishingly low total of £1400 allowed them to:

  • Select out of 35 065 blood samples 4.2% (1490) with an elevated alanine aminotransferase.

  • Undertake measurement of 1490 serum irons, transferrins, and ferritin concentrations.

  • Give information on haemochromatosis and offer genetic screening to the 56 patients found to have a transferrin saturation >60%, and to re-contact those not responding.

  • Obtain informed consent from the 33 patients …

M Bhavnani,manju.bhavnani{at}

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