Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Iron replacement therapy: do we need new guidelines?

Nielsen, Ole Haagen; Coskun, Mehmet; Weiss, Günter

Current Opinion in Gastroenterology: March 2016 - Volume 32 - Issue 2 - p 128–135
doi: 10.1097/MOG.0000000000000247
NUTRITION: Edited by Eamonn M.M. Quigley

Purpose of review Approximately, one-third of the world's population suffers from anemia, and at least half of these cases are because of iron deficiency. With the introduction of new intravenous iron preparations over the last decade, uncertainty has arisen when these compounds should be administered and under which circumstances oral therapy is still an appropriate and effective treatment.

Recent findings Numerous guidelines are available, but none go into detail about therapeutic start and end points or how iron-deficiency anemia should be best treated depending on the underlying cause of iron deficiency or in regard to concomitant underlying or additional diseases.

Summary The study points to major issues to be considered in revisions of future guidelines for the true optimal iron replacement therapy, including how to assess the need for treatment, when to start and when to stop treatment, when to follow-up for relapse, which dosage and type of therapy should be recommended or not recommended, and if some patients should not be treated.

aDepartment of Gastroenterology, Herlev Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

bDepartment of Internal Medicine VI, Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria

Correspondence to Ole Haagen Nielsen, MD, DMSc, Department of Gastroenterology, Herlev Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Herlev Ringvej 75, DK-2730 Herlev, Denmark. Tel: +45 38683421; e-mail:

Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.