Chronic heart failure is a common disorder associated with unacceptably high mortality rates. Chronic renal disease and anemia are two important comorbidities that significantly influence morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). Progress in CHF again may cause worsening of kidney function and anemia. To describe this vicious cycle, the term cardio-renal anemia syndrome has been suggested. Iron deficiency is part of the pathophysiology of anemia in both CHF and chronic kidney disease, which makes it an interesting target for treatment of anemia in cardio-renal anemia syndrome. Recently, studies have highlighted the potential clinical benefits of treating iron deficiency in patients with CHF, even if these patients are nonanemic. This article summarizes studies investigating the influence of iron deficiency with or without anemia in chronic kidney disease and CHF and gives an overview of preparations of intravenous iron currently available.
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