Iron therapy alone or in combination with erythropoietin in surgical and medical cardiac patients

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Anemia has been associated to poor outcomes in the whole spectrum of patients with heart disease. The etiology of this comorbidity in cardiac patients is multifactorial but acute bleeding or chronic occult blood loss, iron deficiency and inflammation are common causes in these patients. Abnormal handling or availability of iron and inadequate response to endogenous erythropoietin have both raised the interest of researchers and clinicians to explore the therapeutic role of these agents either alone or in combination. In this review, we analyze the most recent research evaluating the role of iron alone or in combination with erythropoietin in the management of anemia of cardiac patients ranging from those patients that undergo cardiac surgery to those more advanced patients with chronic heart failure.

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