Iron, oxidative stress, and clinical outcomes

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

19 Scopus citations


It is well known that iron is pro-oxidant. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a pro-oxidant state, and intravenous administration of iron is frequently used to correct anemia. On one hand, there is little doubt that iron causes oxidative stress. On the other, it is far from clear whether oxidative stress, so generated, leads to poor clinical outcomes. Iron has benefits that may be independent of the correction of anemia. Furthermore, concerns surround the use of high doses of erythropoietin in causing excess heart failure and death in patients with CKD. Thus, it would be prudent if iron were to continue to be used judiciously in patients who require erythropoietin. Iron, given orally, would be the preferred first-line agent in patients not on hemodialysis. In patients with sepsis, intravenous treatment with iron should be avoided, because, in animal experiments, intravenous administration of iron can compound the inflammatory response and increase mortality. Clinical trials are needed to ascertain the risk and benefits of the intravenous administration of iron in patients with CKD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1195-1199
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Iron
  • Oxidative stress
  • Proteinuria
  • Randomized trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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