20Jeong et al recently reported the results of a retrospective observational study of 527 patients undergoing gastrectomy for gastric carcinoma. Patients with acute postoperative anaemia (haemoglobin <10 g/dL) received intravenous iron sucrose. Patients with preexisting, preoperative anaemia were excluded. A dose of 300 mg was administered every other day until reaching the total target amount, calculated as:

(body weight x [target haemoglobin – current haemoglobin] x 0.24) + 500 mg

The need for iron deficiency and anaemia to be well controlled in all patients with inflammatory bowel disease has been highlighted in a new practical guide for this patient population. The guide evaluates current treatment practices and recommends intravenous iron therapy where oral iron is poorly tolerated or where it has failed in moderate to severe anaemia, and in combination with erythropoietin.

Most physicians and health managers assume that allogeneic blood transfusion (ABT) is always life-saving, cheap, free of risk, and cost–effective. This is believed despite questionable efficacy and increasingly reported adverse events in patients who undergo ABT. In contrast, alternatives to allogeneic blood transfusion (AABT) are frequently considered less efficacious and non cost–effective when compared with conventional ABT.

Stefan Anker is Professor of cardiology and cachexia research at Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany. He is active in biomarker, anaemia, metabolic, immunological and nutrition research, with a particular focus on developing new therapies for heart failure and for cachexia. Professor Anker currently serves on the Board of the European Heart Failure Association (HFA) and is President of the HFA (2012–2014).


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