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Keywords:

  • anemia;
  • intravenous iron sucrose;
  • iron deficiency;
  • oral iron sulphate;
  • pregnancy

Abstract

Aim:  Iron deficiency is a leading cause of anemia in pregnancy. The present study aimed to compare the efficacy of oral and intravenous iron therapy in improving iron deficiency anemia in pregnancy and restoring iron stores, compare the obstetric outcome in the two groups and evaluate the safety of intravenous iron sucrose.

Material and Methods:  This was a prospective study, where 100 anemic antenatal women with hemoglobin 7–9 g/dL, mean corpuscular volume <85 fL and serum ferritin <15 ng/mL, were randomized into two groups. In group A (n = 50), the women received 200 mg tablets of ferrous sulphate, each containing 60 mg elemental iron, three times a day for 4 weeks. In group B (n = 50), iron sucrose was given in divided doses of 200 mg each on alternate days by slow intravenous infusion. Primary outcome measure was treatment efficacy, assessed by measurement of hemoglobin, red blood cell indices and reticulocytes on days 7, 14, 21, and 30 and at delivery, and of ferritin on day 30 and at delivery. Any side-effects of treatment and the neonatal outcome were studied as secondary outcome measures.

Results:  There was a statistically significant difference in increase of hemoglobin levels (3.1 g/dL in group A vs 5.1 g/dL in group B; P = 0.002) and ferritin levels between the two groups on day 30 (P = 0.005). The adverse effects from iron treatment were mild but more prominent in group A. Neonatal outcome was comparable in the two groups.

Conclusion:  Intravenous administration of iron sucrose is a safe treatment for correction of anemia in pregnancy, without serious side-effects.