Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology
Taylor and Francis
School of Medical and Health Sciences
© 2020 Informa Healthcare on license from Scandinavian Rheumatology Research Foundation. Objective: To evaluate the relationship between erythrocyte parameters and the presence or absence of arthritis in HFE C282Y homozygous hereditary haemochromatosis (HH) subjects compared to control groups of non-HH subjects with arthritis. Method: Erythrocyte and arthritis parameters [mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and mean cell haemoglobin (MCH)] were obtained from consecutive HH subjects (n = 119) who were referred for initial evaluation and management. For comparison, MCV and MCH values were collected from randomly selected non-HH subjects with rheumatoid arthritis (n = 100) and osteoarthritis (n = 100), consisting of equal numbers of men and women. Two other comparison groups comprised 16 men and women who were heterozygous for C282Y with arthritis, and 38 non-HH subjects with type 2 polyarticular osteoarthritis (T2POA). Results: MCV values were significantly higher in HH subjects with arthritis (95 ± 0.56 fL) than in HH subjects without arthritis (92.75 ± 0.50 fL, p = 0.037). HH subjects with or without arthritis demonstrated a higher mean MCV than the control groups of non-HH osteoarthritis (90.12 ± 0.46 fL, p < 0.001) and non-HH rheumatoid arthritis (90.94 ± 0.57 fL, p < 0.001). HH subjects with arthritis also demonstrated a higher MCV than heterozygous C282Y subjects with arthritis (93.18 ± 1.55 fL, p = 0.025) and non-HH subjects with a similar pattern of arthritis, notably T2POA (91.13 ± 0.50 fL, p < 0.01). An MCV of ≥ 97.85 fL provided a likelihood ratio of 2.2 for development of arthritis in HH subjects. Conclusion: This study demonstrated a relationship between elevated MCV and arthritis in incident cases of HH.