Issue: 2014 > January > special article

Severe hypophosphataemia after intravenous iron administration

A. Blazevic, J. Hunze, J.M.M. Boots


Currently, in many centres, intravenous administration
of iron is becoming increasingly popular because of higher efficacy and decreased side effects, mainly gastrointestinal, compared with oral iron therapy. Studies of intravenous ferric carboxymaltose administration in the postpartum setting and in patients with non-dialysisdependent chronic kidney disease revealed a decrease in serum phosphate levels that was generally asymptomatic and transient. Here, we report four cases of severe and symptomatic hypophosphataemia after intravenous iron administration. All patients received this as therapy for iron deficiency anaemia due to heavy menstrual bleeding. In most cases, a pre-existent disorder in the phosphate homeostasis existed, such as a secondary (cases 3 and 4) or tertiary hyperparathyroidism (case 1). However, in the second case there were no risk factors for a dysregulation of the phosphate homeostasis. Based on these findings, we conclude that severe and symptomatic hypophosphatemia can occur as a side effect of intravenous iron administration and can persist for
months after administration. Especially patients with
low phosphate levels prior to therapy due to concomitant
disorders in phosphate homeostasis (e.g. hyperparathyroidism, vitamin D deficiency) are at risk.