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Scand J Gastroenterol. 2013 Sep;48(9):1027-32. doi: 10.3109/00365521.2013.819442. Epub 2013 Jul 29.

Anemia and iron deficiency in inflammatory bowel disease: an open, prospective, observational study on diagnosis, treatment with ferric carboxymaltose and quality of life.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Karolinska University Hospital, 17176 Stockholm, Sweden.



Iron deficiency and anemia are being increasingly recognized as a complication of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The aim of this study was to observe, in a non-interventional way, how Swedish gastroenterologists adhere to guidelines in IBD outpatients treated with intravenous ferric carboxymaltose (FCM), and the result of treatment.


Altogether 394 IBD patients (Crohn's disease (CD) 60%, ulcerative colitis (UC) 40%) from 14 centers were included. Group A (n = 216) was observed from November 2008 and group B (n = 178) from March 2010. Time of observation ranged from 12 to 29 months.


S-Ferritin (µmol/l) and transferrin saturation (T-Sat; %) were recorded at baseline in 62% and 50% in group A. Median values for Hb, ferritin and T-Sat at baseline were 111 g/l, 10 µmol/l and10%, respectively, and 134 g/l, 121 µmol/l and 20% after iron treatment (p < 0.001 for all three parameters). Similar results were found in group B. Approximately three-quarters of all patients had only one iron infusion during the study period. Median time to reinfusion was 6 (1-25) months. Only previously described infusion reactions occurred in 27 (7%) patients.


Adherence to European guidelines was rather poor and needs to be improved. The effect on iron parameters of intravenous FCM was significant, and resulted in a ferritin level that indicates an effect on the iron stores. The effect was mostly sustained for a year since only one-quarter of the patients were given repeated iron infusions. No unforeseen safety concerns emerged during the observation period.

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