Epoetin alfa and intravenous iron sucrose to treat severe anemia in a patient with chronic radiation enteropathy
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We report the case of a patient with a severe chronic radiation enteropathy. She had been dependent on red cell transfusions for many years. On admission, she displayed anemia (8.6 g/dL) resulting from both inadequate EPO production and a functional iron deficiency. A 3-wk IV iron sucrose treatment (200 mg once weekly) resulted in an increased reticulocyte count, but did not raise the hemoglobin (Hb) level. The adjunction of epoetin alpha (10,000 IU three times a week) made it possible to reach the normal range (12.9 g/dL) after a 17-wk treatment. As the anti-anemic treatment discontinued, the Hb level decreased to 11.1 g/dL within 2 wk. Giving EPO again (10,000 IU twice a week) failed to maintain the Hb level, which dropped under basal values (7.8 g/dL). In contrast, a second combination EPO/iron sucrose did restore a normal Hb level and maintained it. This case report supports the combination of EPO and IV iron supplementation in patients with anemia of chronic disease and either an impaired iron absorption or intolerance to oral iron.
Key WordsAnemia erythropoietin IV iron functional iron deficiency chronic radiation enteropathy
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