The safety of modern intravenous iron infusions in patients with rheumatoid arthritis - a review of the literature
Hematology (Amsterdam, Netherlands). 2020;25(1):108-111
Objectives: To assess the evidence for the safety of intravenous iron infusions in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.Methods: A systematic literature search was performed in June 2019 on PubMed and Cochrane databases for eligible studies.Results: There is significant evidence of safety and efficacy of intravenous iron in patients with rheumatoid arthritis using newer, less immunogenic iron preparations, such as iron sucrose and low molecular weight iron dextran preparations.Discussion: Iron deficiency anaemia has a significant impact on the quality of life of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but the use of intravenous iron is generally avoided due to concerns raisedin older studies using high molecular weight iron dextran of exacerbating the disease. However, such concerns have not been confirmed in more recent studies using newer preparations.Conclusion: We find significant evidence of safety and efficacy in more recent studies of larger cohorts of patients using newer, less immunogenic iron preparations.
The effect of intravenous iron on erythropoiesis in older people with hip fracture
Age and ageing. 2019
BACKGROUND anaemia following hip fracture is common and associated with worse outcomes. Intravenous iron is a potential non-transfusion treatment for this anaemia and has been found to reduce transfusion rates in previous observational studies. There is good evidence for its use in elective surgical populations. OBJECTIVE to examine the impact of intravenous iron on erythropoiesis following hip fracture. DESIGN two-centre, assessor-blinded, randomised, controlled trial of patients with primary hip fracture and no contra-indications to intravenous iron. METHOD the intervention group received three doses of 200 mg iron sucrose over 30 min (Venofer, Vifor Pharma, Bagshot Park, UK) on three separate days. Primary outcome was reticulocyte count at day 7 after randomisation. Secondary outcomes included haemoglobin concentration, complications and discharge destination. Eighty participants were randomised. RESULTS there was a statistically significantly greater absolute final reticulocyte count in the iron group (89.4 (78.9-101.3) x 109 cells l-1 (n = 39) vs. the control (72.2 (63.9-86.4)) x 109 cells l-1 (n = 41); P = 0.019; (mean (95% confidence intervals) of log-transformed data). There were no differences in final haemoglobin concentration (99.9 (95.7-104.2) vs. 102.0 (98.7-105.3) P = 0.454) or transfusion requirements in the first week (11 (28%) vs. 12 (29%); P = 0.899). Functional and safety outcomes were not different between the groups. CONCLUSIONS although intravenous iron does stimulate erythropoiesis following hip fracture in older people, the effect is too small and too late to affect transfusion rates. Trial Registry Numbers: ISRCTN76424792; EuDRACT 2011-003233-34.
Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents for anemia in rheumatoid arthritis
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2013;2:CD000332.
BACKGROUND Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic and systemic inflammatory disorder that mainly affects the small joints of the hands and feet. Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents have been used to treat anemia, one of the extra-articular manifestations of RA. Although anemia is less of a problem now because of the reduction in inflammation due to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), it could still be an issue in countries where DMARDs are not yet accessible. OBJECTIVES We assessed the clinical benefits and harms of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents for anemia in rheumatoid arthritis. SEARCH METHODS We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library (issue 7 2012), Ovid MEDLINE and Ovid MEDLINE(R) In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations (1948 to 7 August 2012), OVID EMBASE (1980 to 7 August 2012), LILACS (1982 to 7 August 2012), the Clinical Trials Search Portal of the World Health Organization, reference lists of the retrieved publications and review articles. We did not apply any language restrictions. SELECTION CRITERIA We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in patients aged 16 years or over, with a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis affected by anemia. We considered health-related quality of life, fatigue and safety as the primary outcomes. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS Two authors independently performed trial selection, risk of bias assessment, and data extraction. We estimated difference in means with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for continuous outcomes. We estimated risk ratios with 95% CIs for binary outcomes. MAIN RESULTS We included three RCTs with a total of 133 participants. All trials compared human recombinant erythropoietin (EPO), for different durations (8, 12 and 52 weeks), versus placebo. All RCTs assessed health-related quality of life. All trials had high or unclear risk of bias for most domains, and were sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry. Two trials administered EPO by a subcutaneous route while the other used an intravenous route.We decided not to pool results from trials, due to inconsistencies in the reporting of results.Health-related quality of life: subcutaneous EPO - one trial with 70 patients at 52 weeks showed a statistically significant difference in improvement of patient global assessment (median and interquartile range 3.5 (1.0 to 6.0) compared with placebo 4.5 (2.0 to 7.5) (P = 0.027) on a VAS scale (0 to 10)). The other shorter term trials (12 weeks with subcutaneous EPO and eight weeks with intravenous administration) did not find statistically significant differences between treatment and control groups in health-related quality of life outcomes.Change in hemoglobin: both trials of subcutaneous EPO showed a statistically significant difference in increasing hemoglobin levels; (i) at 52 weeks (one trial, 70 patients), intervention hemoglobin level (median 134, interquartile range 110 to 158 g/litre) compared with the placebo group level (median 112, interquartile range; 86 to 128 g/litre) (P = 0.0001); (ii) at 12 weeks (one trial, 24 patients) compared with placebo (difference in means 8.00, 95% CI 7.43 to 8.57). Intravenous EPO at eight weeks showed no statistically significant difference in increasing hematocrit level for EPO versus placebo (difference in means 4.69, 95% CI -0.17 to 9.55; P = 0.06).Information on withdrawals due to adverse events was not reported in two trials, and one trial found no serious adverse events leading to withdrawals. None of the trials reported withdrawals due to high blood pressure, or to lack of efficacy or to fatigue. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS We found conflicting evidence for erythropoiesis-stimulating agents to increase quality of life and hemoglobin level by treating anemia in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. However, this conclusion is based on randomized controlled trials with a high risk of bias, and relies on trials assessing human recombinant erythropoietin (EPO). The safety profile of EPO is unclear. Future trials assessing erythropoiesis-stimulating agents fo
Effect of recombinant human erythropoietin on anaemia and disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and anaemia of chronic disease: a randomised placebo controlled double blind 52 weeks clinical trial
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 1996;55((10):):739-44.
OBJECTIVE To study whether recombinant human erythropoietin (r-hu-Epo) improves anaemia and reduces disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and anaemia of chronic disease (ACD). METHODS A 52 week placebo controlled randomised double blind trial with r-hu-Epo was performed in 70 patients with active rheumatoid arthritis and ACD. Thirty four patients were treated with 240 U kg-1 r-hu-Epo subcutaneously, initially three doses weekly, while 36 patients received placebo. RESULTS A significant increase of haemoglobin from a median of 112 to 135 g litre-1 occurred in the Epo group within six weeks and could be sustained with reduced doses (median 240 U kg-1 once weekly). Sustained benefit compared to placebo was also apparent by six weeks for disease activity, as indicated by the Paulus 20% response rate. Of patients in the Epo group, 32% eventually showed a Paulus 20% response, compared to 8% of the placebo group (P = 0.016). Significant differences in favour of the Epo group were also observed in the secondary disease activity measures Ritchie index, number of swollen joints, pain score, ESR, and patients' global assessment of disease activity. C reactive protein concentrations did not change significantly. CONCLUSIONS Treatment of ACD in rheumatoid arthritis with r-hu-Epo is effective in restoring normal haemoglobin levels and also exerts a beneficial effect on disease activity.