This article, based on our own studies and those of others, presents evidence to show that the anemia of chronic renal failure in the predialysis period is, to a significant extent, caused by iron deficiency and can be improved in most cases by the administration of intravenous (i.v.) but not oral iron. We estimate that in approximately 30% of all predialysis patients with anemia, a target hematocrit (Hct) of 35% can be reached and maintained by giving i.v. iron alone without exceeding currently acceptable limits of serum ferritin (500 μg/liter) or the percentage of iron saturation (40%). If, in addition, subcutaneous erythropoietin (EPO) - usually in only low doses - is added, the combination has an additive effect on the Hct response, and almost all anemic predialysis patients can reach and maintain the target Hct of 35% over a one-year period. Therefore, the advantage of maintaining adequate iron stores with i.v. iron is that if EPO is needed, lower doses will be required to achieve the target Hct than if EPO were used alone. This not only avoids the high cost of EPO therapy but also its associated side- effects, especially hypertension. Using Venofer, a ferric hydroxide sucrose complex, as our i.v. iron supplement, we have seen no anaphylactic reactions in over 20,000 infusions over a four-year period in 360 hemodialysis, 123 predialysis, and 58 peritoneal dialysis patients.
|Journal||Kidney International, Supplement|
|State||Published - Mar 1999|
- Cardiovascular disease
- End-stage renal disease
- Iron deficiency