The Influence of Inflammation on Anemia in CKD Patients

Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Jan 22;21(3):725. doi: 10.3390/ijms21030725.


Anemia is frequently observed in the course of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and it is associated with diminishing the quality of a patient's life. It also enhances morbidity and mortality and hastens the CKD progression rate. Patients with CKD frequently suffer from a chronic inflammatory state which is related to a vast range of underlying factors. The results of studies have demonstrated that persistent inflammation may contribute to the variability in Hb levels and hyporesponsiveness to erythropoietin stimulating agents (ESA), which are frequently observed in CKD patients. The understanding of the impact of inflammatory cytokines on erythropoietin production and hepcidin synthesis will enable one to unravel the net of interactions of multiple factors involved in the pathogenesis of the anemia of chronic disease. It seems that anti-cytokine and anti-oxidative treatment strategies may be the future of pharmacological interventions aiming at the treatment of inflammation-associated hyporesponsiveness to ESA. The discovery of new therapeutic approaches towards the treatment of anemia in CKD patients has become highly awaited. The treatment of anemia with erythropoietin (EPO) was associated with great benefits for some patients but not all.

Keywords: ESA hyporesponsiveness; anemia; anemia of inflammation; chronic kidney disease; inflammation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anemia / metabolism
  • Anemia / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Erythropoietin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / pathology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Cytokines
  • Erythropoietin