The role of iron in chronic inflammatory diseases: from mechanisms to treatment options in anemia of inflammation

Blood. 2022 Nov 10;140(19):2011-2023. doi: 10.1182/blood.2021013472.


Anemia of inflammation (AI) is a highly prevalent comorbidity in patients affected by chronic inflammatory disorders, such as chronic kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or cancer, that negatively affect disease outcome and quality of life. The pathophysiology of AI is multifactorial, with inflammatory hypoferremia and iron-restricted erythropoiesis playing a major role in the context of disease-specific factors. Here, we review the recent progress in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms contributing to iron dysregulation in AI, the impact of hypoferremia and anemia on the course of the underlying disease, and (novel) therapeutic strategies applied to treat AI.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anemia* / drug therapy
  • Anemia* / therapy
  • Chronic Disease
  • Erythropoiesis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / therapy
  • Iron* / therapeutic use
  • Quality of Life


  • Iron