Iron deficiency anemia: diagnosis and management

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) still remains universally problematic worldwide. The primary focus of this review is to critique articles published over the past 18 months that describe strategies for the diagnosis and management of this prevalent condition.

Recent findings

The medical community continues to lack consensus when identifying the optimal approach for the diagnosis and management of IDA. Current diagnostic recommendations revolve around the validity and practicality of current biomarkers such as soluble transferrin-receptor concentrations and others, and cause-based diagnostics that potentially include endoscopy. Management of IDA is based on supplementation combined with effective etiological treatment. Advances in oral and parenteral low-molecular-weight iron preparations has expanded and improved treatment modalities for IDA. Since the introduction of low versus high-molecular-weight intravenous iron administration, there have been fewer serious adverse events associated with parenteral iron preparations.

Summary

Best practice guidelines for diagnosing and managing IDA should include the design of an algorithm that is inclusive of multiple biomarkers and cause-based diagnostics, which will provide direction in managing IDA, and distinguish between IDA from the anemia of chronic disease.

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