Hemochromatosis is not so rare a disease as is generally supposed but the clinician has difficulty in recognizing it until the final stage when the three characteristic signs, cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes mellitus and pigmentation of the skin, are all evident. As for the earlier stages even the pathologist may occasionally overlook them.
This paper will consist of a general introduction to the subject of cirrhosis, of which pigment cirrhosis forms one type, and then of a discussion of different aspects of hemochromatosis under three headings, which are arranged in logical order although this is not the way in which the work was originally done. I had been trying for many years to discover the cause of so-called alcoholic cirrhosis. While testing out the injurious action of copper, among many other sub
stances, I found that with it I could produce pigmentation and cirrhosis of the liver in rabbits