Iron and CF-related anemia: expanding clinical and biochemical relationships

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2011 Feb;46(2):160-5. doi: 10.1002/ppul.21335. Epub 2010 Oct 20.


Introduction: This cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the relationship between iron levels in the plasma and sputum of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients.

Methods: Demographic, clinical, and iron-related laboratory data were prospectively obtained from 25 patients with stable clinical features and 14 patients with worsened clinical features since their most recent evaluations.

Results: Compared to patients with stable clinical features, those who experienced clinical deterioration demonstrated significantly worse lung function and were more frequently malnourished and diabetic. Members of the latter group were also significantly more hypoferremic and had higher sputum iron content than patients with stable clinical features. No significant correlation was found between plasma and sputum iron levels when the groups were analyzed together and separately.

Conclusions: Sputum iron content does not correlate with iron-related hematologic tests. Hypoferremia is common in CF and correlates with poor lung function and overall health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anemia / etiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cystic Fibrosis / blood
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iron / blood*
  • Iron, Dietary / blood
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sputum / chemistry
  • Young Adult


  • Iron, Dietary
  • Iron