Efficacy and safety of intravenously administered iron sucrose with and without adjuvant recombinant human erythropoietin for the treatment of resistant iron-deficiency anemia during pregnancy

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2001 Mar;184(4):662-7. doi: 10.1067/mob.2001.111717.


Objective: This study was undertaken to determine the efficacy and safety of intravenously administered iron sucrose with versus without adjuvant recombinant human erythropoietin in the treatment of gestational iron-deficiency anemia resistant to therapy with orally administered iron alone.

Study design: Forty patients with gestational iron-deficiency anemia were randomly assigned to receive intravenously iron sucrose plus recombinant human erythropoietin or iron sucrose alone twice weekly. Target hemoglobin value was 11.0 g/dL. Efficacy measures were reticulocyte count, increase in hematocrit, and time to target hemoglobin level (treatment duration in weeks and need for continued therapy after 4 weeks).

Results: Both regimens were effective, but with adjuvant recombinant human erythropoietin the reticulocyte counts were higher from day 4 (P<.01), increases in hematocrit were greater from day 11 (P <.01), and the median duration of therapy was shorter (18 vs 25 days), with more patients reaching the target hemoglobin level by 4 weeks of treatment (n = 19 vs. n = 15). The groups did not differ with respect to maternal-fetal safety parameters.

Conclusion: Adjuvant recombinant human erythropoietin safely enhanced the efficacy of iron sucrose in the treatment of gestational iron-deficiency anemia resistant to orally administered iron alone.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / blood
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / complications
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / drug therapy*
  • Erythrocyte Count
  • Erythrocyte Indices
  • Erythropoietin / administration & dosage*
  • Erythropoietin / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Ferric Compounds / administration & dosage*
  • Ferric Compounds / therapeutic use
  • Ferric Oxide, Saccharated
  • Ferritins / blood
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / complications
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / diagnostic imaging
  • Glucaric Acid
  • Hematocrit
  • Humans
  • Placental Insufficiency / complications
  • Placental Insufficiency / diagnostic imaging
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Reticulocyte Count
  • Transferrin / analysis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography


  • Ferric Compounds
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Transferrin
  • Erythropoietin
  • Ferritins
  • Ferric Oxide, Saccharated
  • Glucaric Acid