JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

[Anaemia and iron deficiency in clinical practice:from cardiology to gastroenterology and beyond]

Richard Češka
Vnitr̆ní Lékar̆ství 2014, 60 (12): 1033-9
25692829
Anaemia is one of the most common diseases. Worldwide affects up to 25% of the population. Anaemia with iron deficiency (Fe) is the leading one. It is not surprising that iron deficiency mainly affects women. Generally, anaemia is one of the major problems in every department of internal medicine. There is no ambition to provide a comprehensive review of the diagnosis and treatment of anaemia. The aim is to point out the common (but sometimes neglected) facts from daily practice in internal department and on the other hand, to highlight the news in the treatment focusing on parenteral Fe.The importance of anaemia at the department of internal medicine. Mentioned above, anaemia is very frequent in internal medicine. Especially, it is anaemia of Fe deficiency and anaemia of chronic disease. Mostly elderly and polymorbid patients (often with one dominant, sometimes cryptogenic disease) suffer from anaemia. I am concern about the fact that anaemia is often seen only as a sign of other disease and usually is not the target of diagnostic and therapeutic efforts.Diagnosis and treatment. The internal department physician is responsible for patient care, but cooperates with haematologist in case of severe anaemia in diagnostic and therapeutic process. Basic examination contains analysis of Fe, ferritin, transferrin, circulating serum transferrin receptors or other parameters. Of course, the focus in iron deficiency anaemia is on its possible loss or in case of chronic disease anaemia on primary disease.Notes to Fe treatment. If the patient has iron deficiency the Fe treatment is often indicated (after finding the cause). Iron is administered orally in most cases. There are several situations when parenteral Fe is not only preferable, but also represents the only therapeutic option. Currently, the best evidence for the positive effects is observed in parenterally administered Fe ferric carboxymaltose, Ferinject.Parenteral administration of Fe in gastroenterology. Gastorenterology is a common field for the use of Fe administration. The losses in the GIT are frequent as well as malabsorption of Fe in several gastrointestinal diseases. A typical example may be inflammatory bowel disease, especially Crohn´s disease. Not only case reports demonstrate the positive effect of ferric carboxymaltose in Crohn´s disease.Parenteral administration of Fe in cardiology. Recently published work (multicentric randomized controlled double-blinde trial) CONFIRM HF have proved that administration of ferric carboxymaltose in heart failure patients have improved their functional ability, NYHA stratification and quality of life. The pilot studies performed before resulted positively and CONFIRM HF only confirmed their conclusions.Quality of life - neglected parameter. Conclusions of CONFIRM HF introduce the improved quality of life as one of the main result. Unfortunately, it is a parameter (subjective, difficult to objectify) which doesn´t have such importance as endpoint - indicator of intervention trials. It is shown that treatment of anaemia is important in chronic fatigue (especially women) and affects quality of life. Improvement in symptoms of fatigue has been demonstrated after administration of 1000 mg of ferric carboxymaltose. Fe treatment improves quality of life in anaemic oncology patients as well.

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