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Am J Perinatol. 2018 Aug 19. doi: 10.1055/s-0038-1668555. [Epub ahead of print]

Treatment of Iron Deficiency Anemia in Pregnancy with Intravenous versus Oral Iron: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California.



 To perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to assess the benefits of intravenous (IV) iron in pregnancy.


 Systematic review was registered with PROSPERO and performed using PRISMA guidelines. PubMed, MEDLINE, Web of Science,, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar were searched. Eleven RCTs, comparing IV to oral iron for treatment of iron-deficiency anemia in pregnancy, were included. Meta-analyses were performed with Stata software (College Station, TX), utilizing random effects model and method of DerSimonian and Laird. Outcomes were assessed by pooled odds ratios (OR) or pooled weighted mean difference (WMD). Sensitivity analyses were performed for heterogeneity.


 We found that pregnant women receiving IV iron, compared with oral iron, had the following benefits: (1) Achieved target hemoglobin more often, pooled OR 2.66 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.71-4.15), p < 0.001; (2) Increased hemoglobin level after 4 weeks, pooled WMD 0.84 g/dL (95% CI: 0.59-1.09), p < 0.001; (3) Decreased adverse reactions, pooled OR 0.35 (95% CI: 0.18-0.67), p = 0.001. Results were unchanged following sensitivity analyses.


 In this meta-analysis, IV iron is superior to oral iron for treatment of iron-deficiency anemia in pregnancy. Women receiving IV iron more often achieve desired hemoglobin targets, faster and with fewer side effects.


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