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Arthritis Rheum. 2000 May;43(5):1016-20.

Single values of serum transferrin receptor and transferrin receptor ferritin index can be used to detect true and functional iron deficiency in rheumatoid arthritis patients with anemia.

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1
Turku University Central Hospital, Finland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To elucidate the use of serum transferrin receptor (sTfR) to distinguish between iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) and anemia of chronic disease (ACD), and to establish an improved scheme to identify functional iron deficiency (FID) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with anemia.

METHODS:

We studied 30 anemic RA patients whose iron status was confirmed by bone marrow examination and determination of the sTfR level, serum ferritin level, and sTfR-log ferritin index (TfR-F Index). All patients with diminished or exhausted iron stores (n = 18) received oral iron supplementation.

RESULTS:

Baseline values of sTfR and the TfR-F Index predicted the response correctly in all patients who received supplementation treatment and were normal in 10 of 11 patients with normal initial iron stores (ACD).

CONCLUSION:

The results of this study elucidate the roles of sTfR and the TfR-F Index in the differential diagnosis between IDA and ACD and provide direct evidence that these parameters are useful in detecting FID, irrespective of the concurrent iron storage status.

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