Preoperative Anemia Treatment with Intravenous Iron Therapy in Patients Undergoing Abdominal Surgery: A Systematic Review

Tiffany Moon, Aaron Smith, Taylor Pak, Brian H. Park, Sascha S. Beutler, Travis Brown, Alan D. Kaye, Richard D. Urman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction: Preoperative anemia is associated with increased morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs. As a result of the increased incidence of chronic blood loss and iron deficiency anemia in abdominal surgery patients and its impact on patient outcomes, we systematically evaluated the quality of evidence for preoperative intravenous (IV) administration of iron to patients with anemia undergoing major abdominal surgery with the focus on clinical outcomes. Methods: In this systematic review, PubMed, Cochrane, The Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Web Of Science, and Excerpta Medica Database databases were searched up to 2019 using specific keywords. Inclusion criteria were patients that were over 18 years of age, underwent abdominal surgery, and received an IV iron treatment in the preoperative setting. Results: The nine studies included in the final systematic review do not provide consistent evidence of a reduced incidence of allogeneic blood transfusions with preoperative IV iron administration. However, IV iron administration did consistently cause a significant increase in hemoglobin levels relative to oral iron therapy or no iron. Conclusion: Overall, these findings are consistent in that IV iron administration is highly effective at rapidly increasing hemoglobin levels in patients with iron deficiency anemia undergoing major abdominal surgery. Unfortunately, there is currently no evidence of reduced incidence of allogeneic blood transfusions or other enhanced outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1447-1469
Number of pages23
JournalAdvances in Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Abdominal surgery
  • Anemia
  • Hemoglobin
  • Iron
  • Preoperative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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