Iron isotopic composition of blood serum in anemia of chronic kidney disease
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a general term for disorders that affect the structure and function of the kidneys. Iron deficiency (ID) and anemia occur in the vast majority of CKD patients, most of whom are elderly. However, establishing the cause of anemia in CKD, and therefore making an informed decision concerning the corresponding therapeutic treatment, is still a challenge. High-precision Fe isotopic analysis of blood serum samples of CKD patients with and without ID/anemia was performed via multi-collector inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) for such a purpose. Patients with CKD and/or iron disorders showed a heavier serum Fe isotopic composition than controls. Many clinical parameters used for the diagnosis and follow-up of anemia correlated significantly with the serum Fe isotopic composition. In contrast, no relation was observed between the serum Fe isotopic composition and the estimated glomerular filtration rate as a measure of kidney function. Among the CKD patients, the serum Fe isotopic composition was substantially heavier in the occurrence of ID anemia, while erythropoietin-related anemia did not exert this effect. The Fe isotopic composition can thus be useful for distinguishing these different types of anemias in CKD patients, i.e. ID anemia vs. erythropoietin-related anemia.