Intravenous low molecular weight iron dextran in children with iron deficiency anemia unresponsive to oral iron

Ellen S. Plummer, Shelley E. Crary, Timothy L. Mccavit, George R. Buchanan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) in children is usually treated with oral iron, yet many respond poorly. Intravenous low molecular weight iron dextran (LMWID) offers the opportunity of employing a single outpatient infusion to correct the anemia and reduce the overall burden of treatment, but its use in children has been limited due to concerns of serious adverse effects. In this study we report our initial experience using LMWID in children with iron deficiency in whom oral iron was ineffective. Methods: We performed a case series of LMWID treatment of children with IDA of diverse etiologies who were poorly responsive to oral iron therapy with the aim of measuring its efficacy and adverse effects. LMWID was administered as a total dose infusion over 60minutes in the outpatient setting. Results: Thirty-one patients age 11 months to 18 years received intravenous LMWID, and 24 were evaluable for hematologic response. Median hemoglobin increments were respectively 3.5, 1.9, and 1.8g/dl in patients with IDA due to poor nutrition (n=11), chronic blood loss (n=13), and miscellaneous causes (n=7). Two thirds of evaluable patients had a complete hematologic response. Nine of the patients (29%) had mild non-specific adverse effects upon initiation of the LMWID infusion. Conclusions: LMWID as a total dose infusion was well tolerated and effective in a heterogeneous group of children and adolescents with IDA who were refractory to oral iron therapy. Transient reactions were common but not serious. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2013;60:1747-1752.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1747-1752
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Intravenous iron
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Low molecular weight iron dextran
  • Pediatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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