oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Bantu siderosis - A review

Volume 15, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



Bantu siderosis is a common condition in the African population throughout Southern Africa. The cause of the siderosis is the excessive consumption of iron in the diet. In most cases the iron deposits are confined to the liver, reticulo-endothelial system and small bowel mucosa, but in a small proportion heavy iron deposits are found also in many epithelial tissues. Subjects with the latter distribution usually, but not always, have a portal type cirrhosis and have rather a high incidence of diabetes. There is much similarity between the findings in those subjects with the widespread epithelial iron deposits and idiopathic haemochromatosis. In idiopathic haemochromatosis, however, the reticulo-endothelial concentrations of iron are usually much smaller than in Bantu siderosis. The role of haemosiderin in the production of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis is still controversial. An association between siderosis, osteoporosis and scurvy has been noted in some centres.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error