Iron Laboratory Studies in Pediatric Patients With Heart Failure from Dilated Cardiomyopathy


Iron deficiency (FeD), with or without anemia, in adults with heart failure (HF) is associated with poor outcomes, which can be improved with replacement therapy. A similar therapeutic opportunity may exist for children; however, iron laboratory measurements and FeD have not been described in pediatric patients with HF. A single-center, retrospective study was conducted on 28 patients <21 years old with a diagnosis of dilated cardiomyopathy and HF who had iron laboratories (serum iron, iron saturation, and ferritin) performed. The mean (standard deviation) age at time of laboratory collection was 10.3 (5.5) years. Twenty-seven patients (96.4%) met the criteria for FeD. Serum iron and iron saturation were significantly associated with inpatient hospitalization, being on inotropic medications, or having stage D HF. Low-serum iron was associated with a higher left ventricular end-diastolic dimension and left ventricular end-systolic dimension z-score by echocardiography ((β −2.58, 95% confidence interval [CI] −4.76, −0.40, p = 0.02) and (β −2.43, 95% CI −4.70, −0.17, p = 0.04)), respectively. Low ferritin was associated with higher mortality (relative risk 0.29, 95% CI 0.12, 0.70, p=0.006). In conclusion, FeD was common in this pediatric cohort with more advanced HF. Iron profile abnormalities were associated with worse HF severity and outcomes including mortality.

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Higgins D, Otero J, Kirk CJ, et al. Am J Cardiol 2017;120:2049–55.