Safety and Efficacy of Intravenous Iron Sucrose for Iron-Deficiency Anemia in Children and Adolescents With Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Sabe R1,2, Vatsayan A3, Mahran A2, Khalili AS1,2, Ahuja S2,4, Sferra TJ1,2. Glob Pediatr Health. 2019 Aug 18;6:2333794X19870981. doi: 10.1177/2333794X19870981. eCollection 2019.


Author information

UH Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Cleveland, OH, USA.

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, USA.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant, New York, NY, USA.

UH Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Cleveland, OH, USA.


BACKGROUND: Anemia is common in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Oral iron is widely used but efficacy can be reduced by poor compliance and insufficient absorption. Intravenous iron is safe and effective in adults but is not well studied in children. 

PURPOSE. To assess safety and efficacy of intravenous iron sucrose (IVIS) in children with IBD. Methods. We reviewed medical records of IBD patients <22 years of age who received IVIS at our institution between 2009 and 2014. Anemia was defined as hemoglobin (Hgb) level below normal for age and gender and iron-deficiency anemia as serum iron studies and red cell mean corpuscular volume below normal ranges. Each IVIS infusion was evaluated for safety. Efficacy was defined as ≥2 g/dL increase in Hgb ≤12 weeks from IVIS initiation. 

RESULTS. We identified 88 patients (Crohn's disease, n = 52; ulcerative colitis, n = 33; IBD-unclassified, n = 3) who underwent 329 IVIS infusions over 121 courses. No patient developed anaphylaxis. Six patients developed minor adverse reactions. Of the 121 IVIS courses, 80 were included in the efficacy evaluation. There was a significant rise in Hgb (mean 9.1 ±1.4 to 11.9 ± 1.8 g/dL; P < .0001, paired t test). Overall, 58.7% (47/80 courses) resulted in goal Hgb increase. 

CONCLUSIONS. IVIS is safe and effective in treating iron-deficiency anemia in pediatric IBD. There were only minor adverse events, and the observed rise in Hgb was clinically significant, with the majority achieving goal Hgb

© Copyright 2013-2023 GI Health Foundation. All rights reserved.
This site is maintained as an educational resource for US healthcare providers only. Use of this website is governed by the GIHF terms of use and privacy statement.