Heart Failure Reviews

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 203–210

Anemia in chronic heart failure: Can we treat? What to treat?

  • Stephan von Haehling
  • Markus S. Anker
  • Ewa A. Jankowska
  • Piotr Ponikowski
  • Stefan D. Anker
Article

Abstract

Even though anemia is a significant comorbidity regularly observed in patients with chronic heart failure (HF), only in recent years systematic therapeutic research has been started. This article aims to review the aspects of anemia in chronic HF that are relevant for making treatment decisions, beginning with the definition of anemia and its incidence and prevalence of anemia in patients with chronic HF. Considering the etiology and prognostic impact of anemia in chronic HF, several treatment options will be considered. The latter are the application of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (erythropoietin or darbepoetin alfa) or in the application of intravenous iron (e.g., iron carboxymaltose). According to the results seen in the FAIR-HF trial, iron supplementation should be particularly considered to improve symptoms and quality of life. Intravenous iron application may result in higher compliance and much faster treatment response than oral iron. The RED-HF study will show whether use of darbepoetin alfa in anemic patients with chronic HF will reduce the combined endpoint of death for any reason or hospitalization for heart failure.

Keywords

Heart failure Anemia Outcome Symptoms Intravenous iron Erythropoietin 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephan von Haehling
    • 1
    • 2
  • Markus S. Anker
    • 3
  • Ewa A. Jankowska
    • 4
  • Piotr Ponikowski
    • 4
  • Stefan D. Anker
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Applied Cachexia Research, Department of CardiologyCharité Medical SchoolBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Center for Cardiovascular Research (CCR)Charité Medical SchoolBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Centre for Clinical and Basic ResearchIRCCS San RaffaeleRomeItaly
  4. 4.Department of CardiologyMilitary HospitalWroclawPoland

Personalised recommendations