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Commentary

Role of iron in anaemic critically ill patients: it's time to investigate!

Michael Piagnerelli1* and Jean-Louis Vincent2

Author Affiliations

1 Resident, Department of Intensive Care, Erasme Hospital, Free University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium

2 Head, Department of Intensive Care, Erasme Hospital, Free University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium

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Critical Care 2004, 8:306-307  doi:10.1186/cc2884


See related review article, http://ccforum.com/content/8/5/356

Published: 3 June 2004

Abstract

Anaemia is a common problem in critically ill patients admitted to intensive care units. Many factors can be involved in its development, including rapid alterations of iron metabolism. Maintenance of iron homeostasis is a prerequisite for many essential biological processes and a central element for the development of erythroid precursors and mature red blood cells. With the inflammatory process, iron distribution is disturbed, with decreased serum iron levels and increased iron stores. Little information is available on the precise role of alterations of iron metabolism in the development of iron anaemia in critically ill patients.

Keywords:
anaemia; erythropoietin; iron; red blood cell