Erythrocyte iron incorporation but not absorption is increased by intravenous iron administration in erythropoietin-treated premature infants

Editorial: J Nutr
Fecha: 01/07/2006
Widness JA, Serfass RE, Haiden N, Nelson SE, Lombard KA, Pollak A.
Department of Pediatrics, Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center, Portland, ME, USA.

Because critically ill premature infants experience significant iron loss due to phlebotomy and have high iron needs for growth, Fe absorption and incorporation studies are clinically important. A prospective, controlled, randomized, open 21-d study was conducted in infants with birth weight <1300 g and gestational age < 31 wk to assess the efficacy of combining intravenous (IV) sucrose iron (Fe) with erythropoietin (EPO) for increasing Fe absorption, RBC Fe incorporation, and erythropoiesis. Three clinically stable groups were enrolled at 3-4 wk of age: Control, EPO [2100 U EPO/(kg.wk)]; and IV Fe+EPO [2 mg IV sucrose Fe/(kg.d) plus 2100 U EPO/(kg.wk)]. All subjects received 9 mg/(kg.d) of oral Fe polymaltose. Subjects were not allowed RBC transfusions. Indicators of iron status and erythropoiesis were assessed before and 18 d after treatment. On d 4, tracer doses of oral polymaltose (57)Fe and IV sucrose (58)Fe were administered, and stool and blood samples were collected for Fe absorption and incorporation determinations. Compared with the Control group, the EPO group demonstrated greater hemoglobin (Hb) concentration and reticulocyte count, but no difference in Fe incorporation. In contrast, the IV Fe+EPO group demonstrated greater total Fe incorporation, Hb concentration, plasma ferritin, and reticulocyte count compared with the Control and EPO groups. Absorption of (57)Fe and nonisotopic polymaltose Fe did not differ among the groups (range: 48-58%, and 41-47%, respectively). We conclude that IV sucrose Fe administered in combination with EPO to very-low-birth weight premature infants significantly increases RBC Fe incorporation and erythropoiesis more than EPO alone, but without increasing iron absorption.

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