Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Management, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA. Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative Pain and Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. Center for Surgery and Public Health, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Introduction: Based upon the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data, iron deficiency anemia is the cause of at least 20% of cases of anemia in adults over the age of 65. This is especially relevant in patients undergoing major orthopedic surgery as substantial perioperative blood loss is possible, leading to a high rate of allogeneic blood transfusion in
total hip replacements, total knee replacements, and hip fracture repairs. Significance: The results of this systematic review may be of interest to clinicians and hospital administrators evaluating the clinical efficacy and cost effectiveness of intravenous (IV) iron administration prior to major orthopedic surgery. Materials and Methods: The original studies considered for this review included patients who were over 18 years of age, undergoing major orthopedic surgery, and who received an IV iron treatment in the preoperative setting. A total of 1083 articles were identified and reviewed. After removing duplicates, 1031 publications were screened, and 105 full-text studies were assessed for eligibility. A total of 98 were excluded and 7 articles remained which met the criteria for this review. The primary outcome examined in the included studies was the allogeneic blood transfusion rate. The secondary areas of interest were changes in serum hemoglobin, morbidity and mortality, length of stay, and cost effectiveness. Results: This systematic review found little evidence that IV iron therapy is effective at reducing transfusion in patients undergoing major orthopedic surgery. Conclusions: We do not recommend preoperative IV iron therapy for all patients scheduled for major orthopedic surgery.