Treatment

The recent article by Viethen and colleagues examines the potential role of intravenous iron in a clinical scenario that has not been widely studied, but which has previously yielded some positive data. It builds on a previous publication by Smith and colleagues1 that intravenous iron may be of potential benefit in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

Single-infusion ferric carboxymaltose improves symptoms of fatigue in iron deficient women with normal or borderline haemoglobin, new data reveal. The PREFER trial (Ferric Carboxymaltose Treatment to Improve Fatigue Symptoms in Iron-deficient Non-anaemic Women of Child Bearing Age) also demonstrates that ferric carboxymaltose may improve mental quality of life (QoL), cognitive function and erythropoiesis compared with placebo. Researchers suggest that ferric carboxymaltose may be an effective treatment alternative in patients who cannot tolerate or use oral iron.

Intravenous ferric carboxymaltose and a higher ferritin target may delay or reduce the need for additional anaemia treatment compared with oral iron in chronic kidney disease (CKD). In addition, a greater proportion of patients achieve a faster haematological response and haemoglobin increase, researchers reveal.

Study results have revealed that treatment with i.v. ferric carboxymaltose is associated with a more frequent correction of post-operative anaemia than oral treatment with ferrous glycine sulphate.

Post-operative anaemia is common in patients undergoing major orthopaedic surgery such as total knee arthroplasty (TKA). The prolonged low Hb levels following major surgery has been associated with increased mortality and morbidity.

A new study suggests that iron therapy can be given to iron-deficient rats undergoing anthracycline-based chemotherapy without increasing anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity (AIC). The authors suggest that oxidative and nitrosative stress, inflammation, and cardiotoxicity, may be reduced by iron therapy treatment in this animal group.

A new study presented at the Digestive Diseases Week (3–6 May 2014, Chicago, USA) has shown that the intravenous iron therapy, ferric carboxymaltose, improves symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia, and has an improved safety profile compared with other intravenous iron treatments currently available.

Iron deficiency is an important pathogenic factor affecting the severity and progression of chronic heart failure. Until now, iron deficiency diagnosis was based on the assessment of transferrin saturation and serum ferritin. Unfortunately, these standard measures of iron status are unreliable in the acute clinical settings (such as in acute heart failure)1.

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