Anaemia and serum protein alteration in patients with pressure ulcers

U. Fuoco, G. Scivoletto, A. Pace, V. U. Vona, V. Castellano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The presence of anaemia and serum protein alteration frequently makes the treatment of pressure ulcers more difficult. Several haemato-chemical parameters were observed in 40 patients with sacral pressure ulcers in order to determine the pathogenesis of these complications. All of the patients showed mild-moderate anaemia with low serum iron and normal or increased ferritin and hypoproteinemia with hypoalbuminemia. Our results suggest that both anaemia and serum protein alteration depend on the chronic inflammatory state due to the presence of pressure ulcers. Both anaemia and hypoproteinemia disappeared after pressure ulcer healing. A correct diagnosis is important for the treatment. Iron therapy is useless and potentially dangerous (iatrogenic haemochromatosis) since anaemia is the result of the inability to use iron stores and not iron deficiency. The treatment of serum protein alterations should be based on a dietary therapy rich in protein and calories; the administration of albumin should be reduced, since albumin is low in essential amino-acids and too expensive; albumin administration should be limited to cases with severe hypoproteinemia and oedema.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-60
Number of pages3
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Anaemia
  • Chronic inflammatory state
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Serum protein alteration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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