In this prospective, single-site, single-blinded randomized study, the administration of 500 IU/kg recombinant human erythropoietin and 200 mg iron sucrose given both intravenously the day before surgery significantly reduced postoperative transfusion requirements in moderately anemic adult patients undergoing elective valvular surgery. From the data provided, it appears that both erythropietin and iron sucrose may have played a role in the observed decrease in transfusion needs. Although interesting, these results require further confirmation in large multicenter double-blind randomized studies that will also assess the effects of combined erythropoietin and intravenous iron therapy on postoperative outcomes.

– Philippe Van der Linden

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