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Effectiveness of iron therapy on breath-holding spells

The Journal of Pediatrics
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0022-3476(97)70237-3
  • Medicine


Abstract Objective: The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of iron therapy on breath-holding spells (BHS). Methodology: Sixty-seven children with BHS were enrolled in a clinical trial to evaluate the effect of iron therapy on BHS. At the beginning of therapy, the clinical, laboratory, and demographic characteristics of the patients in the treatment group (n = 33) and placebo group (n = 34) were comparable. Patients were assessed weekly for the first 8 weeks and then every 2 weeks for the next 8 weeks. Response to therapy was assessed by the change in the frequency of BHS. Results: Children treated with iron showed significant reduction in the frequency of BHS (88%) compared with the frequency (6%) in the placebo group. As expected, the treated group showed a significant improvement of a number of blood indexes compared with the placebo group. Baseline mean levels of hemoglobin and total iron binding capacity were predictive of a favorable response to iron treatment. Conclusion: Results of this study indicate that iron therapy is effective in the treatment of BHS and that iron-deficient children seem to be more likely to benefit from such therapy. Response to iron therapy was strongly correlated with improvement in blood indexes. (J Pediatr 1997;130:547-50)

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