Erythropoietin for anaemia in haemodialysis patients: results of a maintenance study (the Canadian Erythropoietin Study Group)

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 1992;7(8):811-6.


Most published studies of recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEpo) have been of limited duration and in small patient populations. The present study examines the long-term effects of rHuEpo in 98 haemodialysis patients treated for up to 18 months. All patients had completed a 6 month placebo-controlled study of rHuEpo. Patients previously on placebo (group 1; n = 31) received rHuEpo at an initial dose of 50 U/kg thrice weekly with subsequent dose adjustments to maintain haemoglobin (Hb) in the range 105-120 g/l. Patients previously on rHuEpo (group 2; n = 67) continued on their usual dose with adjustments made to maintain Hb at 105-120 g/l. Haematological parameters were measured every 2 weeks. Quality of life, assessed by a disease-specific kidney disease questionnaire (KDQ), was measured every 6 months. Mean Hb in group 1 increased from 74.2 +/- 11.4 g/l at baseline to 112.9 +/- 12.6 g/l after 12 months of rHuEpo therapy. After 12 weeks of rHuEpo therapy Hb in groups 1 and 2 was indistinguishable. Hb remained constant in both groups throughout the period of follow-up. Mean rHuEpo dose requirements were similar in both groups. At the end of the study the mean intravenous rHuEpo dose in group 1 patients was 176.6 +/- 154.4 and in group 2 patients was 210.0 +/- 144.0 U/kg per week. Access failure was increased during rHuEpo therapy in patients with synthetic grafts (46% versus 7% failures compared to fistulae; P less than 0.001). Group 1 patients receiving rHuEpo had a significant increase in diastolic but not systolic blood pressure despite a 32% increase in overall antihypertensive prescriptions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anemia / drug therapy*
  • Anemia / etiology
  • Erythropoietin / adverse effects
  • Erythropoietin / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Recombinant Proteins / adverse effects
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Renal Dialysis* / adverse effects


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Erythropoietin