Effects of intravenous iron on mononuclear cells during the haemodialysis session

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2012 Jun;27(6):2465-71. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfr711. Epub 2011 Dec 29.


Background: This study analysed, in vivo and in vitro, the effects of four different intravenous iron preparations (iron gluconate, iron sucrose, iron dextran and ferric carboxymaltose) on activation and damage of mononuclear cells.

Methods: A randomized prospective study was conducted in 10 haemodialysis (HD) patients. Blood samples were collected at baseline (T0); 1 h after starting HD, just before the iron or saline administration (T1); 30 min after the iron or saline infusion (T2) and at the end of HD (T3). In addition, peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 10 healthy individuals and 9 chronic kidney disease Stage-5 (CKD-5) without HD treatment were cultured with the 4 iron preparations.

Results: Iron infusion during the HD session increased the percentage of mononuclear cells with reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, Inter-Cellular Adhesion Molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and apoptosis. There were no significant differences between the four iron preparations. Culture of mononuclear cells from healthy individuals and CKD-5 patients with the different iron preparations resulted in a significant increase in ROS, ICAM-1 and apoptosis as compared with control. In an additional study, the effect of original iron sucrose formulation on mononuclear cells was compared with that of one generic formulation. The generic formulation produced a greater increase in ROS, ICAM-1 and apoptosis than the original iron sucrose.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that intravenous iron has deleterious effects on mononuclear cells. The four iron compounds evaluated produced similar effects on oxidative stress, cell activation and apoptosis. However, the effects of iron compounds with the same formulation were different, thus further investigation may be required to establish the safety of iron preparations that theoretically have the same composition.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Ferric Compounds / administration & dosage*
  • Ferric Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hematinics / administration & dosage*
  • Hematinics / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Young Adult


  • Ferric Compounds
  • Hematinics
  • Reactive Oxygen Species