Iron overload. Both are forms of iron overload disorders with different etiologies and pathophysiology. Hereditary hemochromatosis is caused by a gene mutation and involves deposition of hemosiderin (storage form of iron) in the organs of the body, such as the heart, liver, pancreas, and skin. The two types of hemosiderosis are idiopathic pulmonary and transfusion-related.
Finding vs illness. Hemosiderosis is extra iron in its storage form, from any cause. I may have this in a bruise that is resolving, or around the ankles if I have venous insufficiency. Hemochromatosis is a systemic illness (actually a group of genetic and acquired illnesses) in which there is too much iron in the body. It is always possible to demonstrate hemosiderosis in some tissue in hemochromatosis.
Acquired vs. Genetic. Hemochromatosis is the result of a mutation in the iron metabolism gene and body absorbs more iron than needed and it gets deposited in tissues and causes disease. Hemosidrosis usually occurs in people who need repeated transfusions of red cells, e.g, sickle cell disease, or thalassemia, the excess iron in transfused red cells deposits in the tissues. Read more...