Effects of intravenous iron on fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) in haemodialysis patients: A randomized controlled trial

Matthew A. Roberts, Louis Huang, Darren Lee, Robert MacGinley, Stefanie M.A. Troster, Annette B. Kent, Sukhvinder S. Bansal, Iain C. Macdougall, Lawrence P. McMahon

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Background: Intravenous iron affects serum levels of intact fibroblast growth factor-23 (iFGF23) and its cleavage product c-terminal FGF23 (cFGF23) in iron-deficient people with normal renal function. We hypothesized that intravenous iron modulates iFGF23 and cFGF23 in haemodialysis patients differently according to the type of iron used. Methods: Prevalent, stable haemodialysis patients requiring protocol-based intravenous iron therapy were randomized to a single 200 mg dose of either ferric carboxymaltose (FCM) or iron sucrose (IS). The primary outcome was change in iFGF23 and cFGF23 from pre-infusion to Day 2 post-infusion. Serum hepcidin, ferritin and phosphate were also measured. Pair-wise comparisons utilised the Wilcoxon rank sum test; linear mixed models with an interaction term for treatment and time evaluated between-group effects. Results: Forty-two participants completed the study. In those randomized to FCM (n = 22), median (interquartile range) values pre-infusion and Day 2, respectively, were 843 pg/mL (313-1922) and 576 pg/mL (356-1296, p = 0.05) for iFGF23, 704RU/mL (475-1204) and 813RU/mL (267-1156, p = 0.04) for cFGF23, and 1.53 mmol/L (1.14-1.71) and 1.37 (1.05-1.67, p = 0.03) for phosphate. These parameters did not change following IS. Both serum ferritin (p < 0.001) and hepcidin (p < 0.001) increased in both groups, and the increase in hepcidin was greater in the FCM group (p = 0.03 for between-group difference). Conclusions: Contrary to iron-deficient people with normal renal function, haemodialysis patients given protocol-driven intravenous FCM demonstrated a fall in iFGF23 and a rise in cFGF23, changes not evident with IS. This suggests a differential effect of intravenous iron treatment according to both formulation and renal function. Trial registration: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Register ACTRN12614000548639. Registered 22 May 2014 (retrospectively registered).

Original languageEnglish
Article number177
JournalBMC Nephrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2016


  • Fibroblast growth factor-23
  • Haemodialysis
  • Hepcidin
  • Iron infusion
  • Randomized controlled trial

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