Background and objectives
The safety of intravenous iron dosing in dialysis is uncertain. Higher-dose intravenous iron may be associated with a higher risk of infections, cardiovascular events, hospitalizations, and mortality. This systematic review aimed to determine the safety of higher-dose versus lower-dose intravenous iron, oral iron, or no iron supplementation in adult patients treated with dialysis.
Design, setting, participants, & measurements
We searched Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane library, and CINAHL from inception to January 6, 2017 for randomized, controlled trials and observational studies comparing higher-dose intravenous iron with lower-dose intravenous iron, oral iron, or no iron in patients treated with dialysis that had all-cause mortality, infection, cardiovascular events, or hospitalizations as outcomes.
Of the 2231 eligible studies, seven randomized, controlled trials and 15 observational studies met inclusion criteria. The randomized, controlled trials showed no association between higher-dose intravenous iron (>400 mg/mo for most studies) and mortality (six studies;
n=970; pooled relative risk, 0.93; 95% confidence interval, 0.47 to 1.84; follow-up ranging from 35 days to 26 months) or infection (four studies; n=743; relative risk, 1.02; 95% confidence interval, 0.74 to 1.41). The observational studies showed no association between higher-dose intravenous iron (>200 mg/mo for most studies) and mortality (eight studies; n=241,408; hazard ratio, 1.09; 95% confidence interval, 0.98 to 1.21; follow-up ranging from 3 to 24 months), infection (eight studies; n=135,532; pooled hazard ratio, 1.13; 95% confidence interval, 0.99 to 1.28), cardiovascular events (seven studies; n=135,675; hazard ratio, 1.18; 95% confidence interval, 0.90 to 1.56), or hospitalizations (five studies; n=134,324; hazard ratio, 1.08; 95% confidence interval, 0.97 to 1.19). Conclusions
Higher-dose intravenous iron does not seem to be associated with higher risk of mortality, infection, cardiovascular events, or hospitalizations in adult patients on dialysis. Strength of this finding is limited by small numbers of participants and events in the randomized, controlled trials and statistical heterogeneity in observational studies.