Introduction: Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are often iron deficient, even when not anemic. This trial evaluated whether iron supplementation enhances exercise capacity of nonanemic patients with CKD who have iron-deficiency. Methods: Prospective, multicenter double-blind randomized controlled trial of nondialysis patients with CKD and iron-deficiency but without anemia (Hemoglobin [Hb] >110 g/l). Patients were assigned 1:1 to intravenous (IV) iron therapy, or placebo. An 8-week exercise program commenced at week 4. The primary outcome was the mean between-group difference in 6-minute walk test (6MWT) at 4 weeks. Secondary outcomes included 6MWT at 12 weeks, transferrin saturation (TSAT), serum ferritin (SF), Hb, renal function, muscle strength, functional capacity, quality of life, and adverse events at baseline, 4 weeks, and at 12 weeks. Mean between-group differences were analyzed using analysis of covariance models. Results: Among 75 randomized patients, mean (SD) age for iron therapy (n = 37) versus placebo (n = 38) was 54 (16) versus 61 (12) years; estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) (34 [12] vs. 35 [11] ml/min per 1.73 m 2], TSAT (23 [12] vs. 21 [6])%; SF (57 [64] vs. 62 [33]) μg/l; Hb (122.4 [9.2] vs. 127 [13.2] g/l); 6MWT (384 [95] vs. 469 [142] meters) at baseline, respectively. No significant mean between-group difference was observed in 6MWT distance at 4 weeks. There were significant increases in SF and TSAT at 4 and 12 weeks (P < 0.02), and Hb at 12 weeks (P = 0.009). There were no between-group differences in other secondary outcomes and no adverse events attributable to iron therapy. Conclusion: This trial did not demonstrate beneficial effects of IV iron therapy on exercise capacity at 4 weeks. A larger study is needed to confirm if IV iron is beneficial in nondialysis patients with CKD who are iron-deficient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1496-1505
Number of pages10
JournalKidney International Reports
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2023


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