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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Comparison of 2 iron doses in infants receiving recombinant human erythropoietin therapy.

OBJECTIVE: To compare iron sufficiency in premature infants receiving high-dose recombinant human erythropoietin (r-HuEPO), 1200 IU/kg per week, supplemented with 6 or 12 mg/kg per day of enteral iron. DESIGN: We conducted a prospective, double-blind, controlled study of premature infants receiving r-HuEPO therapy, randomly assigned to receive 2 different doses of iron. Measurements of ferritin, iron, total iron-binding capacity, reticulocyte count, hemoglobin level, and hematocrit were obtained at baseline, 4, and 6 weeks. Transferrin saturation was calculated; the number of blood transfusions and the incidences of sepsis were recorded. SETTING: This study was performed in the neonatal intensive care unit at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital, Loma Linda, Calif. SUBJECTS: Infants with a gestational age of 32 weeks or younger, older than 7 days, and receiving r-HuEPO therapy from March 1, 1997, to June 30, 1998, were eligible for the study. Infants were randomly assigned to receive 6 mg/kg per day or 12 mg/kg per day of enteral iron during a course of r-HuEPO therapy for 4 to 6 weeks. RESULTS: Sixty-four infants were enrolled in the study. Twelve infants did not complete the study; 52 completed 4 weeks and 41 completed 6 weeks of the study. While ferritin levels and transferrin saturation decreased in both groups over the study period, there were no differences between the 2 study groups. CONCLUSIONS: Infants receiving high-dose r-HuEPO therapy (1200 IU/kg per week) decrease their ferritin levels (measure of iron stores) even when receiving high enteral iron supplementation. Given that the ferritin levels were similar between the 2 groups, we speculate that the additional iron either was not absorbed or was not stored.[1]


  1. Comparison of 2 iron doses in infants receiving recombinant human erythropoietin therapy. Nazir, S., Peverini, R.L., Deming, D.D., Hopper, A.O., Vyhmeister, N.R. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine. (2002) [Pubmed]
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