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Nephron. 1991;57(2):175-82.

Iron deficiency in maintenance hemodialysis patients: assessment of diagnosis criteria and of three different iron treatments.

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  • 1Servizio Emodialisi, USL N.8 Bassa Fruilana, Ospedale di Palmanova, Regione Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italia.


The study was carried out in order to evaluate in maintenance hemodialysis (MH) patients: (1) the reliability of serum ferritin (SF) measurement in iron deficiency diagnosis and therapy; (2) the possibility to improve iron stores assessment through laboratory indexes routinely used in clinical practice; (3) the most effective iron deficiency treatment. After a preliminary assessment of SF reference values in 250 healthy volunteers, we studied 72 MH patients divided into three groups according to their SF baseline values: high (group A), normal (group B), low (group C) (normal range 19-191 ng/ml). Each group was further divided into three subgroups receiving three different iron treatments for 6 months: (1) oral administration of 67.5 mg/day of Fe3+ as Fe-ferritin (subgroups A1, B1, C1); (2) oral administration of 60 mg/day of Fe3+ as Fe-chondroitin sulfate (subgroups A2, B2, C2); (3) i.v. administration at the end of each dialytic session of 31 mg of Fe3+ as Fe-gluconate-Na (subgroups A3, B3, C3). The response to the iron therapy was considered positive when the hemoglobin (Hb) and the hematocrit (Ht) increased to greater than or equal to 15% of the baseline values. The rate of positive responses in each subgroup was as follows: A1 0/5, A2 0/5, A3 0/7, B1 2/10, B2 1/6, B3 5/11, C1 1/7, C2 3/7, C3 10/16. We concluded that SF values above 191 ng/ml allow to exclude iron deficiency whereas SF values less than or equal to the normal range are inadequate. In an attempt to improve diagnostic sensitivity we divided patients of subgroup B3 and C3 into responders (R) and nonresponders (NR).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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