My sister died after liver failure caused by hemochromatosis—but she didn’t even know she had the condition! Are there tests to prevent this Kentucky misdiagnosis?

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Yes. Hemochromatosis is a hereditary condition that can be difficult to diagnose, since many victims of the disease never experience any symptoms. However, specific tests ordered by your doctor can identify the disorder and prevent life-threatening complications. For example:


  • Blood tests to detect high iron levels – A serum transferrin saturation can be used to measure the amount of iron bound to the protein transferrin in your bloodstream. Similarly, a serum ferritin test can measure the amount of iron stored in your liver.
  • Liver function tests – If your iron levels are elevated, this test can help identify if the high iron content has caused liver damage. Your doctor may also order an MRI to measure the possibility of iron overload in your liver.
  • Gene mutation testing – Many health professionals recommend testing your DNA for mutations in the HFE gene if you have high iron levels in your blood. You may also undergo genetic testing for hemochromatosis.
  • Liver biopsy – If your liver function tests suggest liver damage, your doctor may perform a biopsy, taking a small sample of your liver tissue using a thin needle and sending it for laboratory evaluation. Pathologists may examine the sample to check for complications of liver damage, such as scarring or cirrhosis.


Families of relatives with hemochromatosis should also undergo testing to see if they are at risk of developing the condition. Since there are many different tests to prevent a Kentucky misdiagnosis of hemochromatosis, you should investigate the circumstances of your loved one’s death to determine whether the tragedy could have been avoided.


The attorneys at Gray and White can help you seek justice for the loss of your loved one, and we charge you nothing unless we win your case. Contact our Louisville medical malpractice team today at 800.634.8767 to find out your legal options in your FREE consultation.