Managing anemia in hemodialysis patients can be challenging because of competing therapeutic targets and individual variability. Because therapy recommendations provided by a decision support system can benefit both patients and doctors, we evaluated the impact of an artificial intelligence decision support system, the Anemia Control Model (ACM), on anemia outcomes. Based on patient profiles, the ACM was built to recommend suitable erythropoietic-stimulating agent doses. Our retrospective study consisted of a 12-month control phase (standard anemia care), followed by a 12-month observation phase (ACM-guided care) encompassing 752 patients undergoing hemodialysis therapy in 3 NephroCare clinics located in separate countries. The percentage of hemoglobin values on target, the median darbepoetin dose, and individual hemoglobin fluctuation (estimated from the intrapatient hemoglobin standard deviation) were deemed primary outcomes. In the observation phase, median darbepoetin consumption significantly decreased from 0.63 to 0.46 μg/kg/month, whereas on-target hemoglobin values significantly increased from 70.6% to 76.6%, reaching 83.2% when the ACM suggestions were implemented. Moreover, ACM introduction led to a significant decrease in hemoglobin fluctuation (intrapatient standard deviation decreased from 0.95 g/dl to 0.83 g/dl). Thus, ACM support helped improve anemia outcomes of hemodialysis patients, minimizing erythropoietic-stimulating agent use with the potential to reduce the cost of treatment.
Keywords: anemia; chronic kidney disease; erythropoietin; hemodialysis.
Copyright © 2016 International Society of Nephrology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.