Background: Although iron deficiency frequently complicates anemia in patients with nondialysis-dependent CKD (ND-CKD), the comparative treatment value of IV iron infusion and oral iron supplementation has not been established.
Methods: In a randomized, controlled multicenter trial, we compared the efficacy of iron sucrose, given as 1 g in divided IV doses over 14 days, with that of ferrous sulfate, given 325 mg orally thrice daily for 56 days in patients with ND-CKD stages 3 to 5, Hb < or =11 g/dL, TSAT < or =25%, and ferritin < or =300 ng/mL. Epoetin/darbepoetin therapy, if any, was not changed for eight weeks prior to or during the study.
Results: The proportion of patients achieving the primary outcome (Hb increase > or =1 g/dL) was greater in the IV iron treatment group than in the oral iron treatment group (44.3% vs. 28.0%, P= 0.0344), as was the mean increase in Hb by day 42 (0.7 vs. 0.4 g/dL, P= 0.0298). Compared to those in the IV iron group, patients in the oral iron treatment group showed a greater decline in GFR during the study (-4.40 vs. -1.45 mL/min/1.73m2, P= 0.0100). No serious adverse drug events (ADE) were seen in patients administered IV iron sucrose as 200 mg IV over two to five minutes, but drug-related hypotension, including one event considered serious, occurred in two females weighing less than 65 kg after 500 mg doses were given over four hours.
Conclusion: IV iron administration using 1000 mg iron sucrose in divided doses is superior to oral iron therapy in the management of ND-CKD patients with anemia and low iron indices.