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Perit Dial Int. 2001 May-Jun;21(3):290-5.

Experience with a large dose (500 mg) of intravenous iron dextran and iron saccharate in peritoneal dialysis patients.

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  • 1Division of Nephrology, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



To compare efficacy in anemia correction and side effects of large doses of intravenous (IV) iron dextran and iron saccharate preparations in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients.


Tertiary-care teaching hospital of University of Toronto.


Retrospective analysis of 379 PD patients who attended PD clinics in past 5 years. Of these 379 patients, 62 were selected to receive IV iron based on ferrokinetic markers of iron deficiency, noncompliance to or ineffectiveness of oral iron, or increased erythropoietin (EPO) requirement.


Sixty-one patients received two IV iron injections of 500 mg each, 1 week apart, 33 patients received iron dextran, 23 received iron saccharate, and 5 received both iron dextran and iron saccharate. One patient developed anaphylaxis to a test dose of iron dextran and was excluded from further therapy. Blood samples were collected before and 3 and 6 months after iron infusions.


At 3 months, the group's average hemoglobin rose from 98.3+/-18.3 g/L to 110.6+/-16.4 g/L (p < 0.0001). Ferritin rose from 104.9+/-115.4 microg/L to 391.5+/-294.1 microg/L (p < 0.0001), and transferrin saturation from 0.17+/-0.07 to 0.26+/-0.19 (p < 0.0001). Erythropoietin requirements fell from 7278.7 IU/week to 5900 IU/week (p < 0.01). Five of the 34 patients who received iron dextran developed minor side effects and 1 patient had anaphylaxis to the test dose. Of the 23 patients who received iron saccharate, 1 had an anaphylactic reaction and 2 had transient chest pain, which subsided without therapy. Overall, there were more side effects with iron dextran (7.4% of injections) compared to the iron saccharate group (4.3% of injections), but this difference was statistically insignificant. Although statistically insignificant, there was an increase in the number of peritonitis episodes during the 6 months after IV iron infusion, especially with iron dextran, compared to the peritonitis episodes during the 6 months before iron infusions.


Our study indicates that IV iron in PD patients is effective in restoring iron stores and in decreasing EPO requirements. One anaphylactic reaction occurred in each group. Our data suggest that as much caution be exercised with iron saccharate as with iron dextran. The slight trend toward increased peritonitis rates after iron infusions needs to be investigated in a larger group of patients.

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