Iron deficiency and heart failure: diagnostic dilemmas and therapeutic perspectives

Eur Heart J. 2013 Mar;34(11):816-29. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehs224. Epub 2012 Oct 25.


Iron is a micronutrient essential for cellular energy and metabolism, necessary for maintaining body homoeostasis. Iron deficiency is an important co-morbidity in patients with heart failure (HF). A major factor in the pathogenesis of anaemia, it is also a separate condition with serious clinical consequences (e.g. impaired exercise capacity) and poor prognosis in HF patients. Experimental evidence suggests that iron therapy in iron-deficient animals may activate molecular pathways that can be cardio-protective. Clinical studies have demonstrated favourable effects of i.v. iron on the functional status, quality of life, and exercise capacity in HF patients. It is hypothesized that i.v. iron supplementation may become a novel therapy in HF patients with iron deficiency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiomyopathies / etiology
  • Depression / etiology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Exercise Tolerance / physiology
  • Heart Failure / etiology*
  • Heart Failure / therapy
  • Humans
  • Iron / physiology
  • Iron / therapeutic use
  • Iron Deficiencies*
  • Iron, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Muscular Diseases / etiology
  • Prognosis


  • Iron, Dietary
  • Iron