Review article: treating-to-target for inflammatory bowel disease-associated anaemia

Laurent Peyrin-Biroulet, Anthony Lopez, J. R.Fraser Cummings, Axel Dignass, Trond Espen Detlie, Silvio Danese

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Iron deficiency has a high prevalence in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients, with negative impact on quality of life and work capacity. Aim: To propose an innovative approach based on early intervention, treating to target and tight monitoring in the management of iron deficiency in IBD patients. Methods: We conducted a literature review on PubMed and Medline using pre-defined keywords and terms to identify relevant studies on iron deficiency in IBD. Results: Many physicians are focused on treating anaemia; however, anaemia is one of the consequences of iron deficiency. Hence, our therapeutic goal for these patients should evolve towards prevention of anaemia by screening and treating iron deficiency. Early diagnosis of iron deficiency is based on a combination of ferritin concentration and transferrin saturation. We consider that normalisation of these biomarkers reflects iron stores replenishment and should be considered as a major therapeutic goal. Treating iron deficiency regardless of the presence of anaemia seems to improve quality of life in several chronic conditions and should be considered as an innovative approach in IBD although strong evidence is still lacking. Tight monitoring is required to allow early detection of iron deficiency recurrence and to consider prompt additional iron supplementation. Conclusion: We propose to extrapolate a three-step strategy (early detection and intervention, treating-to-target and tight monitoring) to the management of iron deficiency in IBD patients. Universally applied, this proactive approach is expected to result in better outcomes in IBD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-617
Number of pages8
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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