Background: Kidney transplant, the gold standard treatment for chronic kidney disease (CKD), is increasingly complicated by anemia. Once-monthly dosing of methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta provides stable, sustained hemoglobin levels in CKD patients. The present study evaluated anemia control in recipients treated with methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta to correct or as conversion treatment from other erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs).
Patients and methods: This observational, retrospective study included kidney transplant patients treated with methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta according to investigators' clinical practice. Information about demographics, CKD, anemia, blood analyses, treatment, and adverse events were collected from patients' medical charts at baseline as well as months 1, 3, and 6.
Results: From October 2009 to March 2010, the 285 patients in the study included: an overall mean age of 52.8±13.9 years with 146 females (51.2%) and 152 patients (55.1%) in stage 3 CKD. Forty-five patients (15.8%) were in the immediate posttransplant period; 51, naïve- treatment (17.9%) and 189, converted subjects (66.3%). Eighty-two of the converted patients (48.0%) had previously received darbepoietin; 81 (47.4%), epoetin beta; and 8 (4.7%), epoetin alfa. The mean doses of methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta at baseline were 75.0±22.4 μg per month, 95.8±45.5 μg per month, and 118.9±58.9 μg per month among naïve, converted, and immediate posttransplant patients, respectively. Mean hemoglobin content varied from baseline to month 6, namely 10.2±0.7 versus 11.8±0.9 g/dL in naïve (P<.001) and 11.4±1.3 versus 12.0±1.2 g/dL in converted patients (P=.001). Patients in the immediate posttransplant period showed mean hemoglobin values maintained between 10.4±1.7 g/dL at baseline and 11.5±1.2 g/dL at month 3. The only study-drug-related adverse event was hypertension. No patient died during the study.
Conclusion: These preliminary results suggested that hemoglobin stability can be achieved and maintained after correction or conversion to once-monthly methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta in kidney recipients. It was well tolerated; the safety profile was that expected and comparable with shorter acting ESAs.
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