Absolute Iron Deficiency
Absolute iron deficiency is a pronounced reduction in iron storage. In cases of absolute iron deficiency we distinguish iron deficiency without anaemia (only reduced iron stores) and iron deficiency anaemia (empty iron stores plus low hemoglobin values).1, 5
Iron deficiency: Total body iron stores are low or exhausted. Patients may have symptoms such as fatigue, impairment of physical and mental performance and hair loss. Hemoglobin is normal, but serum ferritin levels and transferrin saturation (TSAT) are decreased.1, 5
Iron deficiency anaemia: at this stage, there is first of all a reduction in mean corpuscular volume (microcytosis), which corresponds to microcytosis, and/or a reduction in mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (hypochromia); in addition, haemoglobin, serum ferritin and transferrin saturation show abnormally low values.5
- Clénin GE. The treatment of iron deficiency without anaemia (in otherwise healthy persons). Swiss Med Wkly. 2017;147:w14434.
- Musallam KM, Taher AT. Iron deficiency beyond erythropoiesis: should we be concerned? Curr Med Res Opin. 2018;34(1):81–93.
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- Worldwide prevalence of anaemia 1993–2005. WHO The global prevalence of anaemia in 2011. Geneva: World Health Organization 2015
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- Herklotz R and Huber A. Labordiagnose von Eisenstoffwechselstörungen. Schweiz Med Forum 2010;10(30–31):500–507
- Clénin et al. The treatment of iron deficiency without anaemia (in otherwise healthy persons). Swiss Med Wkly. 2017 Jun14;147:w14434
- Nowak A et al. Swiss Delphi study on iron deficiency. Swiss Med Wikly. 2019 Jul 3;149:w20097