Background: Iron-deficiency anemia is a frequent complication in children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Parenteral iron therapy is rarely prescribed because of concern about potential side effects. The aim of this study was to retrospectively evaluate the safety and efficacy of total dose intravenous (TDI) iron therapy.
Methods: Charts of all the pediatric patients with IBD who received TDI iron therapy between February of 1994 and February of 2000 were reviewed.
Results: Seventy patients (20 with ulcerative colitis and 50 with Crohn disease) received a total of 119 TDI iron dextran infusions. Thirty-four patients qualified for the efficacy analysis. The average increase in hemoglobin concentration was 2.9 g/dL, (P < 0.0001). Eleven immediate hypersensitivity reactions developed in 10 patients (9% of the total number of infusions). None of the reactions was life threatening and none required hospitalization.
Conclusions: Total dose intravenous infusion of iron dextran, when appropriately used, is a safe and potentially efficacious treatment for children with inflammatory bowel disease and iron deficiency anemia who are unresponsive to or noncompliant with oral iron therapy.