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      Reversal of Anemia by Erythropoietin Therapy Retards the Progression of Chronic Renal Failure, Especially in Nondiabetic Patients

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          Abstract

          Therapy with human recombinant erythropoietin (EPO) has been accepted as effective for renal anemia in dialysis patients. However, studies in rats have shown that correcting anemia with EPO may affect the progression of renal dysfunction. In humans, however, the effect of EPO on residual renal function is a matter of controversy. We, therefore, investigated whether the long-term administration of EPO to predialysis patients influences residual renal function. Anemic patients at the predialysis stage with a serum creatinine (Cr) concentration ranging from 2 to 4 (average 2.9) mg/dl and a hematocrit (Ht) of less than 30% were randomly assigned to two groups which consisted of anemic patients not treated with EPO (group I, untreated anemic controls, n = 31) and anemic patients treated with EPO (group II, treated anemics, n = 42). Patients with nonsevere or moderate anemia (Ht > 30%) with a Cr ranging from 2 to 4 (average 2.6) mg/dl were also recruited as nonanemic controls (group III, untreated nonanemic controls, n = 35). Blood pressure was controlled to the same degree among the three groups by combined treatment with calcium antagonists and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. All patients were kept strictly on a low-protein (0.6 g/kg/day) and a low-salt (7 g/day) diet. The degree of control of dietary protein and blood pressure and the frequency of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor administration were comparable among the three groups. The primary end point for each patient was a doubling of the baseline Cr which yielded cumulative renal survival rates which were plotted against time. Ht rose significantly from 27.0 ± 2.3 to 32.1 ± 3.2% in group II (n = 42, p < 0.001) with a rate of increase of 0.4 ± 0.06%/week. However, it declined from 27.9 ± 1.8 to 25.3 ± 1.9% in group I (n = 31, p < 0.001) and from 35.9 ± 3.5 to 32.2 ± 3.9% in group III (n = 35, p < 0.001). Cr doubled in 26 patients (84%) in group I as compared with 22 (52%) in group II and 21 (60%) in group III. The cumulative renal survival rates in groups II and III were significantly better than that in group I: p = 0.0003 (group I vs. group II) and p = 0.0024 (group I vs. group III). However, there was no difference in the renal survival rate between groups II and III (p = 0.3111). The better survival rate obtained in group II was attributable to the better survival rate for the nondiabetic patients in this group. The present study suggests that anemia, per se, is a factor in the progression of end-stage renal failure and that reversal of anemia by EPO can retard the progression of renal failure, especially in nondiabetic patiens, provided that blood pressure control, rate of increase in Ht, and dietary protein restriction are appropriate.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          NEF
          Nephron
          10.1159/issn.1660-8151
          Nephron
          S. Karger AG
          1660-8151
          2235-3186
          1997
          1997
          23 December 2008
          : 77
          : 2
          : 176-185
          Affiliations
          aDivision of Nephrology, Saiseikai Central Hospital, and bDepartment of Internal Medicine II, Jikei University, Tokyo, Japan
          Article
          190270 Nephron 1997;77:176–185
          10.1159/000190270
          9346384
          © 1997 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.

          Page count
          Pages: 10
          Categories
          Original Paper

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