Vol 31, No 2 (2024)
Original Article
Published online: 2023-10-16

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Intravenous iron supplementation improves energy metabolism of exercising skeletal muscles without effect on either oxidative stress or inflammation in male patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction

Marcin D. Drozd12, Michał Tkaczyszyn12, Monika Kasztura3, Kinga Węgrzynowska-Teodorczyk45, Irena Flinta5, Waldemar Banasiak5, Piotr Ponikowski12, Ewa A. Jankowska12
Pubmed: 37853824
Cardiol J 2024;31(2):300-308.


Background: Skeletal muscle dysfunction is a feature of heart failure (HF). Iron deficiency (ID) is prevalent in patients with HF associated with exercise intolerance and poor quality of life. Intravenous iron in iron deficient patients with HF has attenuated HF symptoms, however the pathomechanisms remain unclear. The aim of study was to assess whether intravenous iron supplementation as compared to placebo improves energy metabolism of skeletal muscles in patients with HF.

Methods: Men with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) and ID were randomised in 1:1 ratio to either intravenous ferric carboxymaltose (IV FCM) or placebo. In vivo reduction of lactates by exercising skeletal muscles of forearm was analyzed. A change in lactate production between week 0 and 24 was considered as a primary endpoint of the  study.

Results: There were two study arms: the placebo and the IV FCM (12 and 11 male patients with HFrEF). At baseline, there were no differences between these two study arms. IV FCM therapy as compared to placebo reduced the exertional production of lactates in exercising skeletal muscles. These effects were accompanied by a significant increase in both serum ferritin and transferrin saturation in the IV FCM arm which was not demonstrated in the placebo arm.

Conclusions: Intravenous iron supplementation in iron deficient men with HFrEF improves the functioning of skeletal muscles via an improvement in energy metabolism in exercising skeletal muscles, limiting the contribution of anaerobic reactions generating ATP as reflected by a lower in vivo lactate production in exercising muscles in patients with repleted iron stores.

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