Lymph nodes & spleen, nonlymphoma

Pigment / foreign material


Last author update: 1 April 2014
Last staff update: 18 July 2022

Copyright: 2003-2023,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Iron [title] lymph nodes

Jayalakshmi Balakrishna, M.D.
Page views in 2022: 847
Page views in 2023 to date: 100
Cite this page: Balakrishna J. Iron. website. Accessed February 7th, 2023.
Definition / general
  • Iron deposition in lymph nodes is rare
  • Also called hemosiderosis
  • May be associated with hemochromatosis
  • Portal, splenic, mesenteric or axillary, depending on the primary cause
  • Parenteral iron administration
  • Multiple transfusions: red blood cells are lysed and iron is deposited in macrophages in the liver and spleen followed by drainage to adjacent lymph nodes
  • Hereditary hemosiderosis: abnormalities in iron transport - most common is HFE1 gene mutation; also mutations in TfR2, HJV, HAMP, ferroportin-V162del (Hepatology 2005;42:466)
  • Anemia of inflammation: associated with rheumatoid arthritis (Ann Rheum Dis 1970;29:81), gout
Clinical features
  • Depends on the primary cause
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Biopsy with Perls Prussian blue stain
Radiology description
Prognostic factors
  • Depends on the primary cause, severity and extent of the disease
Case reports
  • Reduce iron overload, treat the primary cause
Gross description
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
Gross images

Images hosted on other servers:
Missing Image

Lymph nodes at bottom right

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Follicular hyperplasia, sinus histiocytosis, golden brown pigment deposition
Molecular / cytogenetics images

Contributed by Dr. Mark R. Wick

In sickle cell disease

Positive stains
Negative stains
Electron microscopy description
  • Prominent phagocytic reticulum cells containing vacuoles, myelin figures, lipid droplets and very large lysosomal bodies with fine electron dense granules concentrated in these lysosomal bodies and in the cytoplasm, which show molecular structure of ferritin
Differential diagnosis
Back to top
Image 01 Image 02