IDIOPATHIC hemochromatosis was first described by Hartman and Chausser, in 1882. They described the classic tetrad of liver disease, diabetes, pigmentation of the skin, and atrophy of the gonads. Howard and Stevens, in 1917, were among the first to demonstrate that abnormal iron metabolism was the basis of this condition. What abnormality in iron metabolism leads to hemochromatosis has only recently been elicited.
In 1937 a closely related disease following repeated blood transfusions was described by Kark. Since that time numerous observers have reported the occurrence of hemosiderin deposits in the liver and other organs following blood transfusions. Several of the reports, notably those of Mackey, of Aufderheide, Horns, and Goldish, and of Chesner, also have shown cirrhosis of the liver to be a further complication. Other instances of this condition have been reported after prolonged oral administration of iron salts. Goldish and Aufderheide pointed out that there is often