Effect of hepatitis C infection on anemia in hemodialysis patients

Hemodial Int. 2008 Jan;12(1):94-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1542-4758.2008.00248.x.


Hepatitis C (HCV) infection is commonly seen in dialysis patients, but its long-term deleterious effects in these patients are unknown. We evaluated the effect of HCV infection on anemia in our hemodialysis population. This retrospective case control study was carried out from January 1999 to February 2007. The HCV positive patients were assessed for a 12-month period by quarterly lab results for the prevalence of anemia, iron stores, dialysis adequacy, and alanine aminotranferase levels. Their requirements of erythropoietin (EPO) and intravenous (IV) iron were assessed during these months of clinical stability. A control group of age-matched, race-matched, and gender-matched hemodialysis patients with no history of HCV was similarly assessed for anemia, iron stores, and EPO and IV-iron requirements. Twenty-two HCV-positive patients were included for comparison analysis with 44 control patients for 1:2 matching. The mean EPO requirement for the hepatitis group was 17,307 +/- 14,708 U/month in comparison with the control group, which required 49,134 +/- 49,375 U/month (p value <0.01). The mean dose of IV-iron was 120 +/- 143 mg/month for hepatitis patients and 163 +/- 112 mg/month in the control group (p=0.07). The patients with HCV have lower requirement of exogenous EPO replacement compared with their age-matched, gender-matched, and race-matched dialysis counterparts. The IV-iron requirement was not significantly different between the 2 groups but had a suggestive lower trend in the hepatitis group. This needs to be further studied in larger trials.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anemia / epidemiology*
  • Anemia / etiology
  • Anemia / therapy
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Erythropoietin / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Hepatitis C / complications*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Dominant / therapy
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Erythropoietin