Causes and correlates of anemia in 200 patients with acute cardiogenic pulmonary edema

Angelo Rovellini, Giovanna Graziadei, Christian Folli, Anna Maria Brambilla, Roberto Cosentini, Ciro Canetta, Valter Monzani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Acute heart failure has a poor prognosis and the presence of anemia may increase the risk of adverse outcomes. However, the clinical and laboratory characteristics of anemia in acute heart failure are poorly known. We aimed to assess the causes and the clinical and laboratory correlates of anemia in patients with acute cardiogenic pulmonary edema (ACPE). Methods: This observational study, performed in an Emergency Unit, enrolled 200 patients treated with medical therapy and continuous positive airway pressure. Results: Anemia was found in 36% of patients (38.5% of females and 32.5% of males) and was severe (hemoglobin <9 g/dL) in 6.9% of cases. The most frequent causes of anemia were chronic renal failure (27.8%), chronic inflammatory states (27.8%) and the clustering of multiple factors (18.1%). A wider spectrum of etiological factors was found in females than in males. Microcytic anemia was observed only in females (20% of those anemic), mainly due to iron deficiency/chronic blood loss. Glomerular filtration rate, serum iron, serum albumin, total cholesterol and diastolic blood pressure were independently associated with hemoglobin levels. Conclusions: The etiology of anemia in ACPE is heterogeneous, with several causal factors besides impaired renal function. The pattern of anemia is different between genders, suggesting that sex-specific diagnostic and therapeutic targets should be implemented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-737
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Internal Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • Anemia
  • Emergency medicine
  • Heart failure
  • Pulmonary edema

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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