Alternate Names : Idiopathic Pulmonary Hemosiderosis, IPH, Pulmonary Hemorrhage
Hemosiderosis is a rare, often fatal, condition in which iron builds up in the lungs. The iron is in the form of hemosiderin, a pigment in blood. Hemosiderosis results from bleeding into the lungs, also known as pulmonary hemorrhage.
Pulmonary hemosiderosis is often broken down into four categories:
idiopathic, which means it occurs by itself
occurs along with pancreatic or heart disease
occurs along with a milk sensitivity
occurs along with a kidney disease called glomerulonephritis
What is going on in the body?
This condition usually shows up between the ages of 6 months and 20 years. Blood that leaks out of the capillaries is taken up by scavenger cells in the lung. The breakdown products of the blood irritate the lung and lead to scarring.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
Hemosiderosis is often linked with anemia and chronic infections. It may also be caused by problems with the heart or the immune system.
Pulmonary hemosiderosis is more common in children under 10 years old. It is equally common in boys and girls. When it begins in adulthood, it is more likely to affect males.