It has recently been recognized that many patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) are anemic. The anemia is very often associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The more severe the anemia the more severe the CHF, with higher mortality, morbidity, and hospitalization rate. The only way to prove that the anemia is itself a causative factor in the progression of both the CKD and the CHF is to correct it. In this paper we review the results of published papers and some preliminary reports about correction of this anemia in CHF. These studies frequently showed that erythropoietic stimulating agents (ESA) with oral or IV iron often resulted in improvement in left ventricular systolic and diastolic function, dilation, and hypertrophy, stabilization or improvement in renal function, reduced hospitalizations, diuretic dose, mitral regurgitation, pulmonary artery pressure, plasma volume, heart rate, serum brain natriuretic peptide levels, and the inflammatory markers C reactive protein and Interleukin 6, and an improvement in New York Heart Association class, exercise capacity, oxygen utilization during exercise, sleep apnea, caloric intake, depression, and quality of life. The activity of endothelial progenitor cells was also increased. Iron deficiency may also play an important role in the anemia, because significant improvement of cardiac, renal, and functional status in these anemic CKD-CHF has been seen after treatment with IV iron alone. Clearly more work is needed to clarify the relationship between anemia, CKD and CHF.
- Heart failure
- Renal failure