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Iron deficiency and heart failure: diagnostic dilemmas and therapeutic perspectives

Ewa A. Jankowska, Stephan von Haehling, Stefan D. Anker, Iain C. Macdougall, Piotr Ponikowski
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehs224 816-829 First published online: 25 October 2012


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.

  • Heart failure
  • Iron deficiency
  • Soluble transferrin receptor
  • Hepcidin
  • Prognosis
  • Exercise capacity

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