Journal Article

Economic appraisal of maintenance parenteral iron administration in treatment of anaemia in chronic haemodialysis patients

F. Sepandj, K. Jindal, M. West and D. Hirsch

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 11, issue 2, pages 319-322
Published in print February 1996 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online February 1996 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Economic appraisal of maintenance parenteral iron administration in treatment of anaemia in chronic haemodialysis patients

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Iron deficiency is common in haemodialysis patients and adequate supplementation by the oral or parenteral route has been limited by drug side-effects, absorption, and cost.

Intermittent doses of intravenous iron dextran complex are recommended in patients with inadequate iron stores despite maximal tolerated oral dose. We conducted a prospective study with economic analysis of a regular maintenance intravenous iron regimen in this group of patients.


Fifty patients comprising one-half of our haemodialysis population required intravenous iron treatment, i.e. they failed to achieve an arbitrary goal serum ferritin 100 μg/l despite maximal tolerated oral iron dose. After a loading dose of intravenous iron dextran complex (IV-FeD) based on Van Wyck's nomogram (400±300 mg) they received a maintenance dose of 100 mg IV-FeD once every 2 weeks. Initial goal serum ferritin was set at 100–200 μg/l. If no increase in haemoglobin was achieved at this level, transferrin saturation was measured to assess bioavailable iron, and when less than 20%, goal serum ferritin was increased to 200–300 μg/l. Recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEpo) was used where needed to maintain haemoglobin in the 9.5–10.5 g/l range only if ferritin requirements were met.


Mean haemoglobin rose from 87.7±12.1 to 100.3±13.1 g/l (P<0.001, Cl 7.7–17.9) at mean follow-up of 6 months (range 3–15 months). In patients on rHuEpo, dose per patient was reduced from 96±59 u/kg per week to 63±41 u/kg per week, repres enting a 35% dose reduction (P<0.05, Cl 1–65). An annual cost reduction of $3166 CDN was projected; however, in the first year this is offset by the cost of the loading dose of IV-FeD required at the beginning of treatment. No adverse reactions were encountered.


Iron deficiency is very common in our haemodialysis population, especially in those patients receiving rHuEpo. A carefully monitored regimen of maintenance parenteral iron is a safe, effective, and economically favourable means of iron supplementation in patients with insufficient iron stores on maximum tolerated oral supplements.

Keywords: anaemia; ferritin; ferrous sulphate; haemodialysis; intravenous iron dextran complex; recombinant human erythropoietin

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Nephrology

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