IRON SUPPLEMENTATION has helped in improving the mortality in “blue babies” and adults diagnosed with cyanotic congenital heart disease, a first-of-its kind study conducted by PGI cardiology department has found. This disease causes low levels of oxygen in the blood and patients’ skin, fingers and lips have a bluish tinge.
As per the study, this will have vast impact in decreasing the morbidity and mortality in children and adults suffering from cyanotic congenital heart diseases.
The research conducted by Dr Sabari Krishnan, under the guidance of Professor Yash Paul Sharma, Head of the Department of Cardiology, Advanced Cardiac Centre, and PGIMER has also been presented in the conference of Cardiology Society of India (CSI) held in Mumbai recently.
Dr Sharma told Chandigarh Newsline, “Worldwide, there is a theory that such ‘blue babies’ or adults should not be given iron as they already have it in excess. Basically, it is the first study which will change the perception of practioners that patients who are blue (cyanotic) are iron- overloaded. Our research has proved that giving them iron, be it oral or IV iron, has rather improved oxygen level in the blood and thus the functional outcome.”
In these patients, there is a huge amount of shortness of breath and they cannot walk longer distances, like within two minutes of walking, they will experience fatigue and shortness of breath. They are also prone to stroke. But after the study, it was found that these patients could walk for longer than six minutes as well after they were given iron supplementation.
As many as 28 acute children and adults with cyanotic heart disease were studied. They were also made to take six-minute walk test.
Among these 28 patients, there were 15 males (53.6%) and 13 females (46.4%). Iron deficiency was found in 21.4% patients and they were treated with IV iron. The rest of the patients were treated with oral iron. Patients showed significant improvement in the values of hemoglobin, hematocrit, SpO2 at rest, Serum ferritin and 6 minute walk distance in a period of three months, the research found.
No allergic reactions were noted during IV iron infusion. Both oral and IV iron can be used for the treatment for iron deficiency anemia in patients with cyanotic heart disease. Among oral and IV iron, IV iron is best for the treatment of iron deficiency.
“Iron deficiency in cyanotic heart disease is a risk factor for cerebrovascular accident, brain abscess, stroke hrombosis in lung and other organs. Hence the iron deficiency is associated with adverse outcome in patients with cyanotic heart disease,” Professor Yashpaul added.