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      Iron therapy for the treatment of iron deficiency in chronic heart failure: intravenous or oral?

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          This article considers the use and modality of iron therapy to treat iron deficiency in patients with heart failure, an aspect of care which has received relatively little attention compared with the wider topic of anaemia management. Iron deficiency affects up to 50% of heart failure patients, and is associated with poor quality of life, impaired exercise tolerance, and mortality independent of haematopoietic effects in this patient population. The European Society of Cardiology Guidelines for heart failure 2012 recommend a diagnostic work-up for iron deficiency in patients with suspected heart failure. Iron absorption from oral iron preparations is generally poor, with slow and often inefficient iron repletion; moreover, up to 60% of patients experience gastrointestinal side effects. These problems may be exacerbated in heart failure due to decreased gastrointestinal absorption and poor compliance due to pill burden. Evidence for clinical benefits using oral iron is lacking. I.v. iron sucrose has consistently been shown to improve exercise capacity, cardiac function, symptom severity, and quality of life. Similar findings were observed recently for i.v. ferric carboxymaltose in patients with systolic heart failure and impaired LVEF in the double-blind, placebo-controlled FAIR-HF and CONFIRM-HF trials. I.v. iron therapy may be better tolerated than oral iron, although confirmation in longer clinical trials is awaited. Routine diagnosis and management of iron deficiency in patients with symptomatic heart failure regardless of anaemia status is advisable, and, based on current evidence, prompt intervention using i.v. iron therapy should now be considered.

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          Most cited references 88

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          ESC guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure 2012: The Task Force for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Acute and Chronic Heart Failure 2012 of the European Society of Cardiology. Developed in collaboration with the Heart Failure Association (HFA) of the ESC.

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            Iron biology in immune function, muscle metabolism and neuronal functioning.

             Daniel Beard (2001)
            The estimated prevalence of iron deficiency in the world suggests that there should be widespread negative consequences of this nutrient deficiency in both developed and developing countries. In considering the reality of these estimates, the Belmont Conference seeks to reconsider the accepted relationships of iron status to physiological, biochemical and neurological outcomes. This review focuses on the biological processes that we believe are the basis for alterations in the immune system, neural systems, and energy metabolism and exercise. The strength of evidence is considered in each of the domains and the large gaps in knowledge of basic biology or iron-dependent processes are identified. Iron is both an essential nutrient and a potential toxicant to cells; it requires a highly sophisticated and complex set of regulatory approaches to meet the demands of cells as well as prevent excess accumulation. It is hoped that this review of the more basic aspects of the biology of iron will set the stage for subsequent in-depth reviews of the relationship of iron to morbidity, mortality and functioning of iron-deficient individuals and populations.
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              Guidelines on the diagnosis and management of iron deficiency and anemia in inflammatory bowel diseases.

              Anemia is a common complication of inflammatory bowel diseases. An international working party has formed and developed guidelines for evaluation and treatment of anemia and iron deficiency that should serve practicing gastroenterologists. Within a total of 16 statements, recommendations are made regarding diagnostic measures to screen for iron- and other anemia-related deficiencies regarding the triggers for medical intervention, treatment goals, and appropriate therapies. Anemia is a common cause of hospitalization, prevents physicians from discharging hospitalized patients, and is one of the most frequent comorbid conditions in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. It therefore needs appropriate attention and specific care.

                Author and article information

                Eur J Heart Fail
                Eur. J. Heart Fail
                European Journal of Heart Failure
                John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (Oxford, UK )
                March 2015
                30 January 2015
                30 January 2015
                : 17
                : 3
                : 248-262
                [1 ]Department of Cardiology, King’s College Hospital London, UK
                [2 ]Department of Renal Medicine, King’s College Hospital London, UK
                Author notes
                * Corresponding author: Department of Cardiology, King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS, UK. Tel: +44 203 299 3259, Fax: +44 203 299 3489, Email: theresa.mcdonagh@
                © 2015 The Authors. European Journal of Heart Failure published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of European Society of Cardiology.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.


                Cardiovascular Medicine

                iron deficiency, quality of life, oral, intravenous, anaemia, heart failure, iron


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