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Abstract

Intravenous iron is an important component of the treatment of anemia of end-stage renal disease (ESRD), but it is biologically plausible that iron could increase the risk of infection through impairment of neutrophil and T-cell function and promotion of microbial growth. Any such increase in risk would be particularly important because infection is a significant cause of mortality and morbidity in dialysis patients. The overall evidence favors an association between iron and infection in hemodialysis patients, but the optimal iron management strategy to minimize infection risk has yet to be identified. There is a need for further research on this topic, particularly in light of increased utilization of intravenous iron following implementation of the bundled ESRD reimbursement system.