Aims: Iron supplementation is necessary in children on hemodialysis, but the optimal protocol remains unknown. We studied the effects of changing our unit's protocol from oral iron with periodic doses of parenteral iron dextran to routine administration of parenteral sodium ferric gluconate on anemia and iron parameters. Methods: We followed seven hemodialysis patients aged 15 - 20 years (mean 17 years). Hemoglobin, hematocrit, serum iron, transferrin saturation, ferritin, erythropoietin dose, total elemental iron dose and total iron cost for the six months prior to the protocol change were compared to the same variables during the six months following the change. Results: There was no statistically significant difference between the doses of parenteral iron between the two protocols; however, the total dose of elemental iron administered in the oral iron plus iron dextran protocol was greater than in the sodium ferric gluconate protocol (19.6 ± 13.1 (mean ± SD) mg/kg/week versus 1.1 ± 0.3 mg/kg/week; p = 0.03). Both protocols had equivalent efficacy with respect to hemoglobin, ferritin and other measures of iron stores. On the other hand, the costs of sodium ferric gluconate were significantly higher than those of oral iron plus intermittent iron dextran (157.75 ± 45.94 $/patient/month versus 52.08 ± 49.88 $/patient/month; p = 0.01). Conclusions: Routine administration of sodium ferric gluconate is equivalent if not superior to use of oral iron plus iron dextran for maintenance of iron stores in adolescents on hemodialysis, but more expensive.
- Transferrin saturation
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