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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019 Jan;31(1):116-122. doi: 10.1097/MEG.0000000000001282.

Clinical experience with ferric carboxymaltose in the management of anemia in acute gastrointestinal bleeding.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Arnau de Vilanova University Hospital.
Institute for Biomedical Research in Lleida Dr. Pifarré Foundation, IRB Lleida, Lleida.
Medical Department, Vifor Pharma España S.L., Barcelona, Spain.



The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of intravenous ferric carboxymaltose (FCM) following hospitalization for acute gastrointestinal bleeding (AGIB) in the context of a restrictive transfusion strategy.


A retrospective single-center study analyzed patients with AGIB (excluding AGIB secondary to portal hypertension) administered a single FCM dose with or without blood transfusion.


Eighty-six episodes in 84 patients were analyzed. Seventy-nine patients had upper AGIB. Nineteen episodes were associated with hemodynamic instability. FCM was administered during hospitalization as a single dose of 1000 mg iron in 84/86 episodes and as a single dose of 500 mg iron in two episodes, with blood transfusion in 60/86 (69.8%) episodes. The mean hemoglobin (Hb) was 9.0 g/dl at admission, 7.6 g/dl at the lowest in-hospital value, 9.4 g/dl at discharge, and 12.7 g/dl at follow-up (mean: 55 days postdischarge) (P<0.001 for follow-up vs. all other timepoints). The lowest mean in-hospital Hb value was 7.2 and 8.8 g/dl, respectively, in patients with transfusion+FCM versus FCM alone; the mean Hb was 12.4 versus 13.7 g/dl at follow-up. In patients administered FCM alone, the mean Hb at follow-up in the subpopulations aged older than or equal to 75 years (n=33), Charlson comorbidity index of at least 3 (n=48), and Hb of up to 10 g/dl at admission (n=47) were 12.6, 13.1, and 13.3 g/dl, respectively. No adverse effects were detected.


Treatment with FCM for AGIB is associated with a good erythropoietic response and anemia correction after hospitalization, even in severe episodes or when transfusion is needed. FCM is safe and well tolerated, and may support a restrictive transfusion policy.

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