ABSTRACT: Serum ferritin is the best single laboratory test to diagnose iron deficiency anemia (IDA). Ferritin levels <20 μg/L are highly specific for IDA, and ferritin levels >100 μg/L usually exclude IDA. However, ferritin concentrations between 20 and 100 μg/L are often inconclusive. The objective of this study was to improve the diagnosis of IDA when ferritin levels are inconclusive.
We evaluated the predictive performance of classic (ferritin, mean corpuscular volume, transferrin and serum iron) and modern [reticulocyte hemoglobin content, serum transferrin receptor and soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR)/log(ferr)] iron status parameters to diagnose IDA in 2084 anemic, non-hospitalized patients. The results were validated in an independent cohort of 274 anemic patients.
In our study population, 29% (595 patients) of the patients had a ferritin level between 20 and 100 μg/L, hampering diagnosis of IDA. None of the classic or modern parameters was capable of completely separating the IDA population from the non-IDA population. However, using a new parameter, the transferrin/log(ferritin) ratio, the IDA and non-IDA populations can be completely separated. At a cut-off value of 1.70, the transferrin/log(ferritin) ratio indicates IDA in 29% of the patients with inconclusive ferritin levels.
The transferrin/log(ferritin) ratio is a practical new tool that improves diagnosis of iron deficiency when ferritin levels are inconclusive.
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine 01/2012; 50(8):1343-9. · 2.15 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The prevalence of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is 2-5% in men and postmenopausal women in the developed world. IDA is commonly caused by chronic gastrointestinal blood loss, and a thorough examination of the gastrointestinal tract must be standard practice.
To retrospectively study endoscopic evaluations of patients from general practitioners diagnosed with IDA in a peripheral hospital laboratory in order to determine the cause of IDA and the number of gastrointestinal malignancies.
We retrospectively evaluated all patients with IDA diagnosed in a peripheral hospital laboratory by the general practitioner in the region of our hospital from 1 January 2004 until 31 December 2005. We included women older than 50 and men 18 years and older without a history of IDA in the previous 2 years.
In 2 years, 287 patients were newly diagnosed with IDA in our hospital laboratory. Only 90 (31%) patients were endoscopically evaluated within 4 months. Gastrointestinal endoscopy revealed at least one lesion potentially responsible for blood loss in 41 of 90 (46%) patients. The most common lesions identified by gastroduodenal endoscopy were erosive esophagitis, gastritis and duodenitis (14%). Cancer was the most commonly detected lesion in the colon, accounting for 17 of 21 colonic lesions explaining IDA. In total, gastrointestinal malignancy was diagnosed in 2% of screened patients. Factors determining the decision for endoscopic screening were lower hemoglobin level, lower ferritin level and male gender.
In our retrospective study of patients with IDA, only 31% received any form of endoscopic evaluation. In general practice, IDA is investigated suboptimally, and interventions other than the issuing of guidelines are needed to change practice.
Scandinavian journal of gastroenterology 09/2011; 46(9):1105-10. · 2.08 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The risk for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)-related colorectal cancer (CRC) remains a matter of debate. Initial reports mainly originate from tertiary referral centers, and conflict with more recent studies. Overall, epidemiology of IBD-related CRC is relevant to strengthen the basis of surveillance guidelines. We performed a nationwide nested case-control study to assess the risk for IBD-related CRC and associated prognostic factors in general hospitals.
IBD patients diagnosed with CRC between January 1990 and July 2006 in 78 Dutch general hospitals were identified as cases, using a nationwide automated pathology database. Control IBD patients without CRC were randomly selected. Clinical data were collected from detailed chart review. Poisson regression analysis was used for univariable and multivariable analyses.
A total of 173 cases were identified through pathology and chart review and compared with 393 controls. The incidence rate of IBD-related CRC was 0.04%. Risk factors for IBD-related CRC were older age, concomitant primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC, relative ratio (RR) per year duration 1.05; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01-1.10), pseudopolyps (RR 1.92; 95% CI 1.28-2.88), and duration of IBD (RR per year 1.04; 95% CI 1.02-1.05). Using immunosuppressive therapy (odds ratio (OR) 0.3; 95% CI 0.16-0.56, P<0.001) or anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) (OR 0.09; 95% CI 0.01-0.68, P<0.02) was protective.
We found a limited risk for developing IBD-related CRC in The Netherlands. Age, duration of PSC and IBD, concomitant pseudopolyps, and use immunosuppressives or anti-TNF were strong prognostic factors in general hospitals.
The American Journal of Gastroenterology 11/2010; 106(2):319-28. · 7.28 Impact Factor