Treatment of anemia in patients with chronic kidney insufficiency in hemodialysis with erythropoietin.

M M Prata, F T de Sousa, J V Barbas, A M da Costa, J Vinhas, P Moreira, C Abrantes, M C Lopes


A group of 50 patients (26 men and 24 women, mean age 50 +/- 19 years and range 21 to 67) on chronic hemodialysis (HD) and with basal levels of hemoglobin (Hb) less than or equal to 8 g/dl was treated with recombinant human erythropoietin (r-HuEpo) during 3 months. r-HuEpo was started at 50 U/kg I.V. 3 times a week, immediately after each session of HD, for 4 weeks, and this dose was increased in steps of 25 U/kg until a Hb level of 12 g/dl or a maximum dose of 100 U/kg were reached. Complete blood counts and biochemical profile were performed before the first dose of r-HuEpo and once weekly and monthly respectively during the period of treatment. In 8 patients the red-cell life span was studied with cromium 51 labelled erythrocytes just before and after treatment. One patient had a grand mal seizure and the r-HuEpo was discontinued. In 44 patients the mean hematocrit increased from 21.8% to 32.1% and in the other 5 there were no response because of iron deficiency. There were no changes in leucocytes and platelets counts and consistent decreases in iron and ferritin serum concentrations were observed despite oral supplementation of iron. In the 8 patients studied the shortened erythrocyte survival did not suffer any significant variation with r-HuEpo. Predialysis creatinine, urea and phosphorus blood levels increased significantly at 3th month of treatment but there was no increase in potassium. In 32.6% of previously normotensive and hypertensive patients an increase in blood pressure was founded. Thrombosis of arteriovenous fistulas and other severe clinical side effects were not observed.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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