Soluble transferrin receptor in Aboriginal children with a high prevalence of iron deficiency and infection

Ritchie, B., McNeil, Y., and Brewster, D.R. (2004) Soluble transferrin receptor in Aboriginal children with a high prevalence of iron deficiency and infection. Tropical Medicine & International Health, 9 (1). pp. 96-105.

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OBJECTIVES: Aboriginal children in tropical Australia have a high prevalence of both iron deficiency and acute infections, making it difficult to differentiate their relative contributions to anaemia. The aims of this study were to compare soluble transferrin receptor with ferritin in iron deficiency anaemia (IDA), and to examine how best to distinguish the effect of iron deficiency from infection on anaemia.

METHODS: We conducted a prospective study of 228 admissions to Royal Darwin Hospital in children from 6 to 60 months of age. Transferrin receptor concentrations were measured by a particle-enhanced immunoturbidimetric assay and ferritin by a microparticle enzyme immunoassay.

RESULTS: On multiple regression, the best explanatory variables for haemoglobin differences (r2=33.7%, P<0.001) were mean corpuscular volume (MCV), red cell distribution width (RDW) and C-reactive protein (CRP); whereas transferrin receptor and ferritin were not significant (P>0.4). Using > or =2 abnormal indices (MCV, RDW, blood film)+haemoglobin <110 g/l as the reference standard for IDA, transferrin receptor produced a higher area under the curve on receiver operating characteristic curve analysis than ferritin (0.79 vs. 0.64, P<0.001) or the transferrin receptor-ferritin index (0.77). On logistic regression, the effect of acute infection (CRP) on haemoglobin was significant (P<0.001) at cut-offs of 105 and 110 g/l, but not at 100 g/l when only iron deficiency indicators (MCV, RDW, blood film) were significant.

CONCLUSIONS: Transferrin receptor does not significantly improve the diagnosis of anaemia (iron deficiency vs. infection) over full blood count and CRP, but in settings with a high burden of infectious diseases and iron deficiency, it is a more reliable adjunctive measure of iron status than ferritin.

Item ID: 10393
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-3156
Keywords: iron deficiency anaemia, soluble transferrin receptor, ferritin, Aboriginal
Date Deposited: 05 May 2010 02:41
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine > 111403 Paediatrics @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Determinants of Health @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920501 Child Health @ 50%
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