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Reported outcomes in patients with iron deficiency or iron deficiency anemia undergoing major surgery: a systematic review of outcomes

Syst Rev. 2024 Jan 2;13(1):5 doi: 10.1186/s13643-023-02431-x.
PICO Summary
POPULATION:

Patients with iron deficiency or iron deficiency anaemia undergoing major surgery (13 studies: 5 randomised controlled trials and 8 observational studies).

INTERVENTION:

Systematic review to identify and appraise outcomes reported for preoperative or perioperative treatment of iron deficiency, with or without anemia.

COMPARISON:

OUTCOME:

Overall, 111 outcomes were structured into five core areas including nine domains. Most studies (92%) reported outcomes within the 'blood and lymphatic system' domain, followed by ‘adverse event’ (77%) and ‘need for further resources’ (77%). All of the latter reported on the need for blood transfusion. Reported outcomes were heterogeneous in measures and timing. Merely, two (33%) of six prospective studies were registered prospectively of which one (17%) showed no signs of selective outcome reporting.

Abstract
BACKGROUND:

Iron deficiency (ID) is the leading cause of anemia worldwide. The prevalence of preoperative ID ranges from 23 to 33%. Preoperative anemia is associated with worse outcomes, making it important to diagnose and treat ID before elective surgery. Several studies indicated the effectiveness of intravenous iron supplementation in iron deficiency with or without anemia (ID(A)). However, it remains challenging to establish reliable evidence due to heterogeneity in utilized study outcomes. The development of a core outcome set (COS) can help to reduce this heterogeneity by proposing a minimal set of meaningful and standardized outcomes. The aim of our systematic review was to identify and assess outcomes reported in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies investigating iron supplementation in iron-deficient patients with or without anemia.

METHODS:

We searched MEDLINE, CENTRAL, and ClinicalTrials.gov systematically from 2000 to April 1, 2022. RCTs and observational studies investigating iron supplementation in patients with a preoperative diagnosis of ID(A), were included. Study characteristics and reported outcomes were extracted. Outcomes were categorized according to an established outcome taxonomy. Quality of outcome reporting was assessed with a pre-specified tool. Reported clinically relevant differences for sample size calculation were extracted.

RESULTS:

Out of 2898 records, 346 underwent full-text screening and 13 studies (five RCTs, eight observational studies) with sufficient diagnostic inclusion criteria for iron deficiency with or without anemia (ID(A)) were eligible. It is noteworthy to mention that 49 studies were excluded due to no confirmed diagnosis of ID(A). Overall, 111 outcomes were structured into five core areas including nine domains. Most studies (92%) reported outcomes within the 'blood and lymphatic system' domain, followed by "adverse event" (77%) and "need for further resources" (77%). All of the latter reported on the need for blood transfusion. Reported outcomes were heterogeneous in measures and timing. Merely, two (33%) of six prospective studies were registered prospectively of which one (17%) showed no signs of selective outcome reporting.

CONCLUSION:

This systematic review comprehensively depicts the heterogeneity of reported outcomes in studies investigating iron supplementation in ID(A) patients regarding exact definitions and timing. Our analysis provides a systematic base for consenting to a minimal COS.

SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION:

PROSPERO CRD42020214247.

Metadata
KEYWORDS: Core outcome set; Data harmonization; Iron deficiency; Iron deficiency anemia; Outcome reporting; Perioperative setting; Preoperative setting; Surgery
MESH HEADINGS: Humans; Anemia, Iron-Deficiency; Iron Deficiencies; Iron; Anemia; Patient Reported Outcome Measures
Study Details
Study Design: Systematic Review
Language: eng
Credits: Bibliographic data from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine