Am J Cardiol. 2023 Jul 8;202:119-130. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2023.06.066. Online ahead of print.
Iron deficiency is an independent risk factor for heart failure (HF) exacerbation. We aim to study the safety and efficacy of intravenous (IV) iron therapy in patients with HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). A literature search was conducted on MEDLINE (Embase and PubMed) using a systematic search strategy by PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) until October 2022. CRAN-R software (The R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria) was used for statistical analysis. The quality assessment was performed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias and Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. We included 12 studies with a total of 4,376 patients (IV iron n = 1,985 [45.3%]; standard of care [SOC] n = 2,391 [54.6%]). The mean age was 70.37 ± 8.14 years and 71.75 ± 7.01 years in the IV iron and SOC groups, respectively. There was no significant difference in all-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality (risk ratio [RR] 0.88, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.74 to 1.04, p <0.15). However, HF readmissions were significantly lower in the IV iron group (RR 0.73, 95% CI 0.56 to 0.96, p = 0.026). Non-HF cardiac readmissions were not significantly different between the IV iron and SOC groups (RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.82 to 1.02, p = 0.12). In terms of safety, there was a similar rate of infection-related adverse events in both arms (RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.74 to 1, p = 0.05). IV iron therapy in patients with HFrEF is safe and shows a significant reduction in HF hospitalizations compared with SOC. There was no difference in the rate of infection-related adverse events. The changing landscape of HFrEF pharmacotherapy in the last decade may warrant a re-demonstration of the benefit of IV iron with current SOC. The cost-effectiveness of IV iron use also needs further study.