Iron deficiency in ND-CKD: from diagnosis to treatment


In non-dialysis-chronic kidney disease (CKD), iron deficiency is a frequent nutritional disorder due to either the greater tendency to occult gastrointestinal bleeding or to the chronic inflammatory state resulting in a reduced intestinal iron reabsorption through an increased synthesis of hepcidin. These phenomenon are responsible for a negative iron balance that compromises erythropoiesis and contributes to the pathogenesis of anemia in CKD. Several laboratory tests are now available to allow an adequate diagnosis of iron deficiency. Among the new parameters, the percentage of hypochromic red cells (% HYPO) and the reticulocyte hemoglobin content (CHr) are now considered as the most specific markers for diagnosing iron-deficiency erythropoiesis. Unfortunately, their implementation in clinical practice is limited by the scarce availability. In non-dialyzed CKD , subjects intolerant or non-responsive to oral iron therapy, can be effectively treated with novel intravenous iron preparations, such as iron carboxymaltose, that allow a complete and rapid correction of iron deficient anemia. Furthermore, this iron compound is associated with lower rate of adverse effects since the carbohydrate shell (carboxymaltose) is more stable than gluconate and saccarate thus reducing the release of free iron in the bloodstream. Of note, the possibility of administering this drug at high doses and reduced frequency decreases the risk of infusion reactions. Finally, a substantial economic saving mainly dependent on a reduction in indirect costs represents a further advantage in the use of iron carboxymaltose in this population.


KEY WORDS: Chronic kidney disease, iron deficiency, anemia, ironcarboxymaltose, transferrin saturation, ferritin

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