The 'iron salute' in haemochromatosis
AUSTRALIAN FAMILY PHYSICIAN | ROYAL AUSTRALIAN COLLEGE GENERAL PRACTITIONERS | Published : 2009
The presentation of haemochromatosis is typified by abdominal pain, arthralgia and fatigue or weakness. Arthropathy may be the major presenting feature. The detection of an osteoarthritis-like process involving the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) and wrist joints in middle aged men should signal the possibility of under lying haemochromatosis. Other joints such as the shoulder, hip,knee or ankle may be affected. However, the preferential involvement of the second and third MCP joints is striking and may provide the opportunity for early identification of iron overload disease. The "iron salut" can be an efficient screening tool for this MCP joint arthropathy but it is not well known by clinicians.