Anemia and coronary artery disease: pathophysiology, prognosis, and treatment

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The mechanisms, pathophysiology, and treatment of anemia in coronary artery disease (CAD) are complex. The hemodynamic changes found in the acute anemic state may contribute to progressive arterial wall and left ventricular hypertrophy if the anemic state persists chronically. We will examine the evidence for anemia as an independent risk factor for CAD events and cardiovascular mortality after percutaneous coronary intervention. We will also investigate the thresholds for appropriate blood transfusion in patients with CAD, as well as the cardiovascular outcomes associated with the utilization of a liberal versus conservative blood transfusion strategy. Although there is evidence supporting the use of intravenous iron replacement in patients with congestive heart failure, we will demonstrate the lack of evidence for iron replacement in patients with CAD. Finally, we will examine the evidence for increased cardiovascular mortality and venous thromboembolic events with the use of erythropoietin-stimulating agents in patients with CAD.

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