Iron storage indices: novel predictors of bacteremia in hemodialysis patients initiating intravenous iron therapy

Clin Infect Dis. 2004 Apr 15;38(8):1090-4. doi: 10.1086/382878. Epub 2004 Apr 1.


Bacterial sepsis is the second leading cause of death among hemodialysis (HD) patients. Iron overload and intravenous iron therapy are linked to bacterial infection. This study examined iron stores, intravenous iron dosing, and bacteremic risk in HD patients. Retrospectively, 132 HD patients receiving their first course of intravenous iron were studied. Baseline laboratory values, including transferrin saturation (TSAT) value and ferritin level, were measured before initiating intravenous iron therapy. Patients were followed for up to 1 year after the initiation of iron therapy for the outcome of bacteremia by Cox proportional hazards regression analysis. Iron-replete patients (those with a TSAT value > or =20% and a ferritin level > or =100 ng/mL) had a significantly higher risk of bacteremia (hazard ratio [HR], 2.5). Venous catheter users (HR, 4.9) and those with diabetes mellitus (HR, 2.2) were also at increased risk. Modest iron storage levels may increase the risk of bacteremia among HD patients initiating intravenous iron therapy. Additional studies are needed to confirm these relationships.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteremia / epidemiology*
  • Bacteremia / metabolism
  • Female
  • Ferritins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors


  • Ferritins
  • Iron