Utilization trends and safety of intravenous iron replacement in pediatric specialty care: A large retrospective cohort study

Alexander A. Boucher, Amanda Pfeiffer, Ashley Bedel, Jennifer Young, Patrick T. McGann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Iron deficiency is a common and clinically diverse hematologic disorder in childhood for which oral iron is often an infeasible or ineffective treatment option. Intravenous (IV) iron can be an efficient and highly successful means of iron replacement but its use has not been well-characterized on a large scale in pediatrics. Procedure: All IV iron doses administered to patients for iron replacement therapy at a tertiary pediatric hospital from January 2010 through October 2016 were evaluated. Analyses included patient demographics, underlying medical conditions, and detailed information for each dose. Individual chart review was performed to identify infusion-related reactions. Nephrology patients as well as those patients 21 years or older at the time of the first infusion were excluded. Results: A total of 1,088 doses of IV iron administered to 194 patients met inclusion criteria. A wide variety of specialties prescribed IV iron, with gastroenterology, hematology, and hospital medicine being the highest users in this cohort. A majority of patients (68%) required multiple infusions and dosing was highly variable, ranging from 1.3–1,030 mg per infusion. Premedication use was infrequent (10.3% of doses) and no severe infusion-associated reactions occurred. Conclusions: IV iron is commonly prescribed by certain pediatric specialties but there is little standardization in the indications, formulations, or dosing. These data suggest that IV iron should be considered a safe alternative for iron deficiency treatment in pediatrics when oral iron is either unsuccessful or contraindicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere26995
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • anemias
  • hematology
  • nonmalignant
  • pediatric hematology/oncology


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