Electrophysiological changes in iron deficiency anemia

Degirmenci Y., Kececi H.

NEUROLOGIA CROATICA, vol.60, no.1, pp.3-11, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 60 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.3-11
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is the most common nutritional problem worldwide. Owing to the role of iron in brain energy metabolism, neurotransmitter function and myelin formation, IDA may lead to behavioral, developmental and cognitive dysfunctions. Iron is an essential element and has an important role in several metabolic and enzymatic processes including NADPH reductase activity and cytochrome oxidase system. Our aim was to investigate the electrophysiological effects of IDA on the peripheral nervous system, and to evaluate whether or not the possible electrophysiological abnormalities are reversible with appropriate doses of iron therapy. Electrophysiological evaluations were performed in 52 patients with newly diagnosed IDA and 30 age-matched healthy controls. Electrophysiological evaluations were repeated after 3 months of oral iron therapy. Normal electrophysiological findings were recorded in 38 (73.07%) patients, while 4 (7.69%) patients had polyneuropathy (PNP) and 10 (19.24%) had carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) findings. Except for one patient with PNP and CTS findings each, the electrophysiological findings of all patients were found to have returned to normal ranges after 3 months of oral iron therapy. Detection of iron responsive neuropathic processes (PNP and CTS) in IDA patients suggested that IDA may cause peripheral nervous system involvement. It is important to emphasize the examinations for IDA as an etiologic factor on planning treatment for neuropathy patients. In cases where IDA is present, it would be beneficial to treat IDA with iron before applying other treatment options for neuropathy.