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Blood Purif. 2008;26(2):151-6. doi: 10.1159/000113529. Epub 2008 Jan 22.

Intravenous iron sucrose in Chinese hemodialysis patients with renal anemia.

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  • 1Blood Purification Center, Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, Capital University of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.



Renal anemia is one of the commonest complications of chronic renal failure. Iron deficiency is the most common factor which affects the efficacy of recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO) therapy. Intravenous (i.v.) iron preparations are commonly used in Western countries, but iron sucrose is seldom used in Chinese patients on maintenance hemodialysis. The aim of the present study was to explore the safety and efficacy of i.v. iron sucrose in Chinese patients on maintenance hemodialysis and to explore the optimal administration frequency.


One hundred and thirty-six patients on maintenance hemodialysis were involved in this randomized, controlled, parallel-group, single-center trial. Seventy patients received i.v. iron sucrose (Venofer(R), delivering 100 mg iron) twice a week for 8 weeks, then once a week for another 4 weeks. The other 66 patients received oral (p.o.) ferrous succinate 200 mg t.i.d. for 12 weeks. Levels of serum ferritin (SF), transferrin saturation (TSAT), hemoglobin (Hb) and hematocrit (Hct) were assessed at baseline and then again after 4, 8 and 12 weeks of treatment.


There were no differences between i.v. and p.o. groups in terms of sex, age, duration of hemodialysis, dialysis frequency per week, EPO dosage per week, the level of intact parathyroid hormone, serum creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, or hematological parameters at baseline. After 8 and 12 weeks of treatment, mean Hb concentration and Hct were significantly increased in the i.v. group, and were also significantly higher than those in the p.o. group. Levels of SF and TSAT were also significantly increased in the i.v. group, and significantly higher than in the p.o. group. After 8 weeks, the response rate in the i.v. group was 88.6%, which was significantly higher than that in the p.o. group. The mean EPO dose was significantly lower in the i.v. group than the p.o. group. Hb, Hct, SF and TSAT levels were maintained between 8 and 12 weeks in the i.v. group despite the decrease in dose frequency. There were no adverse events related to i.v. iron administration. Twenty-two patients in the p.o. group had adverse gastrointestinal effects. After 12 weeks, the cost of EPO + i.v. iron was significantly higher than the cost of EPO + p.o. iron.


Intravenous iron sucrose can effectively increase serum iron parameters and Hb levels in Chinese patients on maintenance hemodialysis and is well tolerated. Infusion of i.v. iron sucrose 100 mg per week can maintain serum iron parameters and Hb levels in Chinese patients on maintenance hemodialysis and can permit reductions in the required dose of EPO. However, the total cost of i.v. iron is relatively high.

Copyright 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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