Inflammatory bowel disease and anemia: intravenous iron treatment

Kangaspunta M1, Haapamäki J2, Färkkilä M1,2, Arkkila P1,2. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2018 Apr;53(4):430-434. doi: 10.1080/00365521.2018.1441435. Epub 2018 Feb 22.

Author information

1 a Department of Gastroenterology , University of Helsinki , Helsinki , Finland.

2 b Department of Gastroenterology , Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki , Helsinki , Finland.


OBJECTIVES: The main objective of our study was to determinate the effectiveness of intravenous iron treatment with ferric carboxymaltose in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients. Our other objectives were to study parameters that would predict a good response to the treatment and to chart out possible side-effects of the treatment.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In our retrospective chart review study we collected clinical data and laboratory results related to IBD from medical records of 87 IBD patients who were treated with ferric carboxymaltose in Helsinki University Hospital between 2014 and 2016.

RESULTS: The mean increase in hemoglobin levels of the patients was 24.6 g/l (+ 24%) after one month, 27.6 g/l (+ 27%) after three months and 26.0 g/l (+ 27%) after six months. Nine out of 87 treated patients (10.3%) reported side-effects during the ironinfusion. A linear regression model assessing the change in hemoglobin levels after six months demonstrated close correlation with transferrin receptor count (p = .004) and ferritin (p = .016) with an adjusted R square of 0.463.

CONCLUSION: Ferric carboxymaltose was found to be an effective and well tolerated treatment for iron deficiency anemia in patients with IBD. The results of our study further strengthen the current knowledge of the effectiveness and safety of the treatment.

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