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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2011 Apr;56(4):615-9. doi: 10.1002/pbc.22930. Epub 2010 Dec 22.

Intravenous iron sucrose for children with iron deficiency failing to respond to oral iron therapy.

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Department of Pediatrics, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Texas 75390, USA.

Erratum in

  • Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2012 Apr;58(4):655.



For decades, parenteral iron has been used in patients with iron deficiency unresponsive to oral iron therapy and in hemodialysis-dependent patients receiving erythropoietin. Newer intravenous (IV) iron formulations such as iron sucrose have replaced high-molecular weight iron (HMW) dextran in dialysis patients; however, the use of parenteral iron in children without renal disease has not been well defined.


Pharmacy records were reviewed on children (≤ 18 years of age) who received IV iron sucrose at Children's Medical Center Dallas between January 1, 2004 and June 30, 2009. Patients who received iron sucrose for chronic renal disease were excluded from analysis.


Thirty-eight children received iron sucrose for non-renal indications, 13 with iron deficiency refractory to oral iron therapy, 13 with iron malabsorption or dependence on parenteral nutrition, 7 for chronic gastrointestinal blood loss, and 5 for miscellaneous indications. Among these 38 children, who received a total of 510 doses of IV iron sucrose, there were only six adverse reactions. Patients in all categories had a good response to the iron sucrose, with a median hemoglobin rise of 1.9-3.1 g/dl depending on the indication.


Parenteral iron is a safe and effective means to treat iron deficiency in children who cannot receive or do not respond to oral iron due to intolerance, poor adherence, or iron malabsorption.

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