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      Erythropoietin Requirements Increase following Hospitalization in End-Stage Renal Disease Patients

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          The effect of hospitalization on an ESRD patient’s hemoglobin (Hgb) level and erythropoietin (Epo) requirement has not been investigated. We postulated patients with end stage renal disease required an increased Epo dose to maintain stable Hgb during hospitalization and for a period following discharge. To evaluate this hypothesis, we conducted a retrospective chart review on 65 hemodialysis patients. All hemodialysis patients admitted for more than 2 days who did not have more than the index hospitalizations for 2 months prior to and following discharge were included. Multiple parameters including Hgb, Epo dose, intravenous iron dose, serum iron, TIBC, and ferritin during the 2 months before and the two months after hospitalization, Hgb at admission and discharge, Hgb trough, surgery, blood transfusions and co-morbid factors were evaluated. Statistical significance was evaluated using ANOVA or rank-sum testing, as appropriate. In 65 hemodialysis patients (24 M/41 F, age 58 ± 2.2 years, mean ± SEM), Hgb levels following discharge and for 2 subsequent months were significantly lower than 2 months prior to admission (11.4 ± 0.25 vs. 10.7 ± 0.22 g/dl, p < 0.01). This occurred in spite of an increase in Epo dose (128 ± 14 vs. 185 ± 21 U/kg/week, p < 0.0001) over this 2-month period. There was no difference in the iron saturation before and after hospitalization (22 vs. 23%,p > 0.05). There were also no apparent effects of comorbid factors, including surgery, or discharge diagnosis on the changes in Hgb or Epo requirements. However, patients who required a blood transfusion during the hospitalization had lower Hgb levels and higher Epo doses both prior to and after hospitalization, as well as lower Hgb trough levels. In addition, females had lower Hgb levels than males both prior to and after hospitalization, and were receiving a higher Epo dose 191 ± 18 vs. 129 ± 20 U/kg/week at 1 month and 215 ± 18 U/kg/week vs. 134 ± 22, p < 0.005 at 2 months after hospitalization. Conclusion: This study points out that hemodialysis patients experience a significant and prolonged decrease in Hgb levels after hospitalization, even despite a moderate increase in Epo dosing.

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          Effect of serum parathyroid hormone and bone marrow fibrosis on the response to erythropoietin in uremia.

          Anemia is common in patients with chronic renal insufficiency and secondary hyperparathyroidism. Erythropoietin therapy is effective, but the dose required varies greatly. One possible determinant of the efficacy of erythropoietin therapy is the extent of marrow fibrosis caused by hyperparathyroidism. We examined the relation between the erythropoietic response to erythropoietin and hyperparathyroidism in a cross-sectional study of 18 patients undergoing hemodialysis who had received erythropoietin therapy for one to three years. In 7 patients (the poor-response group), the dose of intravenous erythropoietin needed to maintain a mean (+/- SD) target hematocrit of 35 +/- 3 percent was > 100 units per kilogram of body weight three times a week, and in 11 patients (the good-response group) it was < or = 100 units per kilogram. In all patients, indexes of the adequacy of dialysis and the extent of hyperparathyroidism and aluminum toxicity were determined monthly, and bone histomorphometry was performed. The mean (+/- SD) dose of erythropoietin required to maintain the target hematocrit was 174 +/- 33 units per kilogram three times a week in the poor-response group and 56 +/- 18 units per kilogram in the good-response group. The mean ages, duration and adequacy of dialysis, increment in hematocrit, iron requirements, and serum concentrations of calcium, phosphate, and aluminum were similar in the two groups. The percentages of osteoid volume and surface, the osteoid thickness, and the stainable aluminum content of bone were similar in the two groups. In contrast, the mean serum parathyroid hormone concentration, the percentages of osteoclastic and eroded bone surfaces, and the degree of marrow fibrosis were greater in the poor-response group than in the good-response group (P = 0.03, P = 0.04, P = 0.009, and P = 0.009, respectively). In patients with uremia, the dose of erythropoietin needed to achieve an adequate hematocrit response may depend on the severity of secondary hyperparathyroidism and the extent of bone marrow fibrosis.

            Author and article information

            Am J Nephrol
            American Journal of Nephrology
            S. Karger AG
            October 2001
            19 October 2001
            : 21
            : 5
            : 390-396
            Division of Nephrology, Departments of aMedicine and bPediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, and cRoudebush Veterans Administration Medical Center, Indianapolis, Ind., USA
            46281 Am J Nephrol 2001;21:390–396
            © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel

            Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

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            Figures: 4, Tables: 4, References: 37, Pages: 7
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