Forty-three hemodialysis patients receiving recombinant erythropoietin (rHuEPO, epoietin alpha) were randomized to receive intravenous iron dextran as a total-dose infusion, 500-mg infusion to total dose, or 100-mg bolus to total dose, in each case during the dialysis procedure. The dose of iron dextran was calculated from the patient's existing hemoglobin to achieve a desired hemoglobin. Patients were eligible to receive intravenous iron dextran if they had a serum ferritin of ≤ 100 ng/mL or a serum ferritin of 100 to 200 ng/mL, along with a transferrin saturation of ≤19%. Patients were excluded if they had prior therapy with iron dextran, aluminum intoxication, or transfusion during the study. The time to the maximum hemoglobin, acute adverse reactions, and delayed adverse reactions were analyzed statistically, and no differences were seen in any of the three groups. Total-dose intravenous iron dextran infusion is safe, convenient, less expensive, and as efficacious as divided-dose infusions.
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