Erythrocytosis in patients on long-term hemodialysis

Ann Intern Med. 1982 Nov;97(5):686-90. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-97-5-686.


Erythrocytosis was seen in two men during maintenance hemodialysis therapy for end-stage renal disease secondary to apparent chronic glomerulonephritis. Nonrenal causes of erythrocytosis such as polycythemia vera, chronic hypoxemia, high-oxygen affinity hemoglobin, and hepatoma were excluded by appropriate clinical studies. A computed tomographic scan of the abdomen showed numerous renal cysts in each patient consistent with acquired cystic disease of end-stage kidneys. Peripheral serum erythropoietin levels were elevated as measured by sensitive radioimmunoassay. The findings suggest that the erythrocytosis is caused by an erythropoietic mechanism related to the diseased kidneys. A review of the literature failed to show previous reports of this clinical association.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Erythropoietin / blood
  • Glomerulonephritis / blood
  • Glomerulonephritis / complications*
  • Glomerulonephritis / therapy
  • Hematocrit
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases, Cystic / blood
  • Kidney Diseases, Cystic / complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polycythemia / etiology*
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Time Factors


  • Erythropoietin