Iron deficiency in patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension

Heart Lung Circ. 2014 Mar;23(3):287-92. doi: 10.1016/j.hlc.2013.08.007. Epub 2013 Sep 1.


Background: Iron deficiency has been reported to be highly prevalent in idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (iPAH) patients, with the potential to influence cardiac performance, pulmonary artery pressures and the pulmonary vascular response to hypoxia.

Methods: Iron status was evaluated in 29 iPAH patients, and was related to haemodynamic, echocardiographic and exercise parameters.

Results: Iron deficiency was present in 44.8% of all iPAH patients, although anaemia was only present in 13.8%. Iron-deficient patients had similar exercise capacity (6MWD: 446±141 m), compared to iron-sufficient patients (421±193 m), however 46.2% of iron deficient patients had NYHA FC 3 or higher, compared to 12.5% in non-iron deficient group. Additionally iron-deficient patients showed increased mean pulmonary arterial pressure (63.3±12.2 mmHg; iron deficient vs. 38.8±16.7 mmHg; non-iron deficient) and reduced cardiac index (1.3±0.2 L/min/m(2); iron deficient vs. 2.5±0.4 L/min/m(2); non-iron deficient).

Conclusions: Iron deficiency is highly prevalent in iPAH, and the extent of iron deficiency is related to haemodynamics and NYHA functional class. While the exact mechanism of iron deficiency is unknown, our study suggests that treatment of iron deficiency should be considered in iPAH patients.

Keywords: Anaemia; Exercise capacity; Haemodynamics; Iron deficiency; Pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / blood*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Iron / blood*
  • Iron Deficiencies*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Artery / physiopathology


  • Iron