Abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB), which includes heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB), is a common condition placing women at increased risk for developing iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia (IDA). Depletion of iron stores has negative implications on physical, social, and emotional health, as well as quality of life. Iron supplements are safe, effective, and readily available, while red blood cell (RBC) transfusions have inherent risks including infectious and immune reactions. Despite high prevalence of IDA among women with AUB, there are limited studies on the impact of iron therapies on patient outcomes. This systematic review and meta-analysis will evaluate the impact of iron supplementation on patient outcomes for women with AUB, when compared to combination therapy, no intervention, placebo, or standard of care.
We will conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and observational studies evaluating the impact of iron interventions on patient outcomes for women with AUB. Systematic literature searches will be conducted in major databases including MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL, CINAHL, and Web of Science. Studies assessing the impact of iron interventions on patient outcomes in women experiencing AUB, in comparison to combination therapy, no intervention, placebo, or standard of care, will be included in the review. Independent reviewers will screen for eligibility, assess risk of bias, and abstract data. Overall certainty of evidence for each outcome will be assessed using the GRADE approach. We will meta-analyze outcomes which are sufficiently homogeneous to summarize intervention effects and narratively synthesize nonhomogeneous outcomes. The main outcomes of interest are hemoglobin levels immediately prior to surgery and post-operatively, number of RBC transfusions, and adverse effects. Secondary outcomes will include length of hospital stay, intraoperative blood loss, adverse and side effects, quality of life, and iron indices.
This review will evaluate the impact of iron interventions on patient outcomes in women with IDA secondary to AUB with focus on changes in hematological and iron indices, red blood cell utilization, quality of life, cost of treatment, and adverse events. The results will inform evidence-based clinical practice for the management of iron deficiency and IDA secondary to AUB.
Systematic review registration