Zagazig University Medical Journal


Background: It is a challenge to treat iron deficiency anemia in children with infectious conditions like pneumonia and empyema as using iron therapy with infection is controversial while blood transfusion is an unsafe alternative. Lactoferrin being a natural product of breast milk and its safe use in neonates and pregnant women may solve this dilemma.Aim of the work: To evaluate efficacy of oral lactoferrin on hematological parameters and iron indices in children with iron deficiency anemia and prolonged chest infections.Methods: We carried out an interventional study on 30 children aged between 6 months and 5 years admitted by prolonged chest infection requiring more than two weeks of therapy. Fifteen children received only the standard treatment of chest infection while the other 15 received 100 mg oral lactoferrin once daily plus the standard treatment. We excluded Children with chronic diseases other than chest diseases, children already on iron therapy and children who received packed RBCs or whole blood within the past 3 months. All included children were subjected to thorough history taking, vital signs recording and Laboratory investigations including CBC, CRP, Serum iron, Ferritin, TIBC and Transferrin saturation at baseline and 1 month after treatment. Results: No statistically significant improvement in hematological parameters or iron indices was found between the two groups after one month of treatment.Conclusion: Oral Lactoferrin failed to improve iron deficiency anemia with prolonged chest infections. It did not improve the microcytic hypochromic anemia present and showed an insignificant increase in iron indices.



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