Int J Mol Sci. 2015 Jun 18;16(6):14056-74. doi: 10.3390/ijms160614056.
Anemia is present in about 40% of heart failure (HF) patients. Iron deficiency (ID) is present in about 60% of the patients with anemia (about 24% of all HF patients) and in about 40% of patients without anemia (about 24% of all HF patients). Thus ID is present in about half the patients with HF. The ID in HF is associated with reduced iron stores in the bone marrow and the heart. ID is an independent risk factor for severity and worsening of the HF. Correction of ID with intravenous (IV) iron usually corrects both the anemia and the ID. Currently used IV iron preparations are very safe and effective in treating the ID in HF whereas little information is available on the effectiveness of oral iron. In HF IV iron correction of ID is associated with improvement in functional status, exercise capacity, quality of life and, in some studies, improvement in rate of hospitalization for HF, cardiac structure and function, and renal function. Large long-term adequately-controlled intervention studies are needed to clarify the effect of IV iron in HF. Several heart associations suggest that ID should be routinely sought for in all HF patients and corrected if present. In this paper we present our approach to diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency in heart failure.