STUDY OBJECTIVE Preoperative anemia results in two- to sixfold increased incidence of perioperative blood transfusion requirements and reduced postoperative hemoglobin (Hb) level. This prospective study was designed to investigate the effect of preoperative intravenous infusion of iron on Hb levels, blood transfusion requirements, and incidence of postoperative adverse events in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting. DESIGN Prospective randomized trial.
SETTING Academic university hospital. PATIENTS Eighty patients (52-67 years old) underwent coronary artery bypass grafting and received either iron therapy or saline infusion preoperatively. INTERVENTIONS Patients were randomly allocated to iron or placebo groups. In the iron group, patients received a single intravenous dose of ferric carboxymaltose (1000 mg in 100 mL saline) infused slowly over 15 min 7 days before surgery. In placebo group, patients received a single intravenous dose of saline (100 mL saline) infused slowly over 15 min 7 days before surgery. MEASUREMENTS Patients were followed up with regards to incidence of anemia, Hb level on admission, preoperatively, postoperatively, 1 week and 4 weeks after discharge, aortic cross-clamp time, the number of packed red blood cells (pRBCs) units, the percentage of reticulocytes pre-postoperatively and 1 week later, hospital stay and intensive care unit (ICU) stay length, and the incidence of postoperative complications. MAIN RESULTS Iron therapy was associated with lower incidence of anemia 4 weeks after discharge (P < 0.001). Hb level was significantly higher in the iron group compared to the placebo group preoperatively and postoperatively, and 4 weeks after discharge (P < 0.001). Iron therapy resulted in shorter hospital and ICU stay (P < 0.001) and shorter aortic cross-clamp time, reduced pRBCs requirements postoperatively. Percentage of reticulocytes was significantly higher in placebo group than in iron group postoperatively and 1 week after discharge and the incidence of postoperative complications was similar to the placebo group. CONCLUSIONS Preoperative IV iron infusion is a safe and feasible way to manage preoperative anemia. Preoperative administration of IV iron is associated with a higher postoperative Hb level, shorter hospital and ICU stay, and reduced perioperative red blood cell transfusion requirements with insignificant difference in incidence of postoperative complications.