Association between common iron store markers and hemoglobin in children with chronic kidney disease

Meredith A. Atkinson, Christopher B. Pierce, Jeffrey J. Fadrowski, Nadine M. Benador, Colin T. White, Martin A. Turman, Cynthia G. Pan, Alison G. Abraham, Bradley A. Warady, Susan L. Furth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Serum ferritin and transferrin saturation (TSAT) are used to assess iron status in children with chronic kidney disease (CKD), but their sensitivity in identifying those at risk of lower hemoglobin (HGB) values is unclear. Methods: We assessed the association of iron status markers (ferritin, TSAT, and serum iron) with age- and gender-related HGB percentile in mild-to-moderate CKD in 304 children in the Chronic Kidney Disease in Children (CKiD) Study. Standardized HGB percentile values were examined by KDOQI-recommended ferritin (≥100 ng/ml) and TSAT (≥20 %) thresholds. Regression tree methods were used to identify iron status markers and clinical characteristics most associated with lower HGB percentiles. Results: The cohort was 62 % male, 23 % African American, and 12 % Hispanic, median age 12 years, and median HGB 12.9 g/dl. 34 % had low TSAT and 93 % low ferritin as defined by KDOQI. Distribution of HGB percentile values was lower in those with ferritin ≥100 ng/ml, while TSAT ≥20 % was associated with only modest increase in HGB percentile. In regression tree analysis, lower glomerular filtration rate (GFR), serum iron <50 μg/dl and ferritin ≥100 ng/ml were most strongly associated with lower HGB percentile. Conclusions: The level of GFR was significantly associated with HGB. Higher serum ferritin was associated with lower HGB in this cohort. Low serum iron in the context of normal/increased ferritin and low HGB may be a useful indicator of iron-restricted erythropoiesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2275-2283
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Anemia
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Hemoglobin
  • Iron deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Nephrology


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