Serum erythropoietin levels of haemodialyzed patients and the necessity for the use of recombinant human erythropoeitin. A Multicenter study

Hippokratia 2000, 4(2):73-78

T. Tsitsios, N. Sotirakopoulos, S. Spaia, V. Derveniotis, C. Chatzidimitriou, K. Mavromatidis


The aim of this study was to evaluate the percentage of patients undergoing hemodialysis who do not need rHuEpo, and their haematocrit levels are near the target of DOQIs (Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative). We have registered all the patients undergoing hemodialysis and those with polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Twenty three patients out of 227 (9.8%) did not need rHuEpo and these constituted group A. These patients were evaluated for hepatitis Β virus surface antigen, hepatitis C antigen, the levels of haematocrit, haemoglobin and serum Epo. As a control group we investigated 17 hemodialyzed patients (group B), who had taken rHuEpo. Thirteen patients of group A and 8 of group Β had PDK as cause of renal failure.Patients of group A were statistically significantly older than those of group Β (p<0.03), but they did not show any difference in duration of haemodialysis (p=NS). Haematocrit levels in patients of group A were significantly higher than those of group Β (p<0.001), as well as levels of haemoglobin (p<0.0001) and serum Epo.When we divided each group of patients (A and B) into two subgroups, according to the cause of renal failure (PKD or other non cystic renal diseases), we did not find any difference in haematocrit, haemoglobin and Epo levels.We conclude that: a) 10% of patients undergoing hemodialysis have very good levels of haemoglobin and haematocrit and they do not need rHuEpo, b) serum levels of Epo in these patients are higher than the levels of Epo of patients who need rHuEpo to keep their haematocrit at good levels and c) PDK is not the predominant cause of end stage renal failure in patients who do not need rHuEpo.