The effect of high dose losartan on erythropoietin resistance in patients undergoing haemodialysis

Panminerva Med. 2003 Mar;45(1):59-62.


Aim: In some of the patients undergoing haemodialysis, (HD) resistance might develop against recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) used for treatment of anaemia. Recently, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors that are used to treat hypertension and congestive heart failure in HD patients have been suggested to contribute to anaemia as well by inhibiting erythropoiesis. Our purpose in this study is to investigate whether or not losartan, an angiotensin II (ATII) receptor antagonist, is causing rHuEPO resistance.

Methods: In this prospective study of 12 months, we compared the effects of high dose losartan (100 mg/day) and amlodipine (10 mg/day) on rHuEPO requirement in 40 hypertensive patients receiving rHuEPO for more than 12 months on maintenance HD. Twenty normotensive rHuEPO dependent patients served as control group. Iron deficiency, hyperparathyroidism, aluminium intoxication, infections and inflammations were excluded in all patients.

Results: The mean haemoglobin level was found >8 g/dl in all groups. The mean weekly rHuEPO dose increased in the losartan group (p<0.0001 vs before) and remained constant in the other groups. No significant differences were found with PTH, iron status, aetiologies of renal failure in all groups.

Conclusion: High-dose losartan increases rHuEPO requirement and should be reserved for dialysis patients with hypertension uncontrollable with other antihypertensive medications.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amlodipine / therapeutic use
  • Anemia / drug therapy*
  • Anemia / etiology*
  • Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Resistance
  • Erythropoietin / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Losartan / administration & dosage*
  • Losartan / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*


  • Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Erythropoietin
  • Amlodipine
  • Losartan