Iron deficiency anemia

Haema 2013; 4(1):1-12

by Maria Papaioannou1, Eleni Gatsa2

1Hematology Unit, 1st Department of Internal Medicine of Medical School, Thessaloniki, AUTH,
2Outpatient Haematology Clinic, General Hospital of Trikala, Greece

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Iron deficiency anemia is still an important public health issue in the developed world to- day. Even under physiologic conditions, an increased iron requirement and/or increased loss of iron (in puberty, in menstruating or pregnant women, in blood donors or in competitive athletes) can lead to iron deficiency. Adult men and postmenopausal women should be evaluated for GI bleeding and malabsorption with gastroscopy and colonoscopy. All forms of iron deficiency can be identified by the following pattern of laboratory findings: reduced ferritin concentration with a compensating increase in the transferrin concentration and low transferring saturation. Treatment consists of both correcting the underlying cause and prompt iron replacement therapy. Oral iron therapy is preferred unless there are intolerance or absorption issues. Newer intravenous iron formations are efficacious, safe, and permit rapid administration of large doses of iron replacement.