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Patients with hereditary haemochromatosis (HH) may present arthralgia in the hands and large joints or severe arthropathy mimicking osteoarthritis typically involving metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints 2 and 3.1–3 This arthropathy, which may seriously affect quality of life, was reported to occur in 20%–50% of HH patients with articular complaints and can coexist with calcium pyrophosphate deposition.4–6
Hand arthropathy is not alleviated by phlebotomy, and in a few patients, disease is refractory or intolerant to standard treatments such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), low-dose colchicine or analgesics. Thus, these patients remain without adequate treatment.
Given the frequent presence of local inflammatory symptoms in MCP joints and the discovery that interleukin 1β (IL-1β) plays a key role in the pathogenesis of arthritis due to …