Acute vs Delayed Iron Therapy PI: Cusick
Acute vs Delayed Iron: Effect On Red Cell Iron Incorporation In Severe Malaria
Approximately 1 million children < age 5 living in sub-Saharan Africa die from severe anemia annually. This severe anemia frequently results from coexisting iron deficiency and malaria infection, but the standard of care, concurrent iron therapy, and antimalarial treatment has proven ineffective at resolving anemia and has increased the rate of clinical malaria in some studies.
The pro-inflammatory immune response mounted against malaria down-regulates iron absorption in the gut, making provision of oral iron supplements during malarial infection of questionable utility. This study, based in Kampala, Uganda, uses iron stable isotopes and a randomized design to test whether starting 4 weeks of iron therapy immediately after antimalarial treatment or 4 weeks later is associated with greater iron incorporation into red blood cells at the time of initial administration of iron therapy and improved long-term hematological recovery.