Kidney Disease: Iron Therapy

Topic Overview

A decrease in the number of circulating blood cells (anemia) is a common problem in people who have chronic kidney disease. It is often caused by a decrease in the amount of a protein produced by the kidneys (erythropoietin).

Some people who receive man-made erythropoietin (rhEPO therapy) continue to have anemia because of low levels of iron in their blood. These people are usually given extra iron to help treat this problem. Intravenous (IV) iron may be needed if oral iron does not increase iron levels. IV iron can also be used to treat anemia that occurs during hemodialysis.

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Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Mitchell H. Rosner, MD - Nephrology
Last Revised September 15, 2011

Last Revised: September 15, 2011

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