Erythropoietin in pediatric cardiac surgery: clinical efficacy and effective dose

Chest. 1997 Jun;111(6):1565-70. doi: 10.1378/chest.111.6.1565.


We assessed the clinical efficacy and determined the effective dose of erythropoietin (EPO) in 48 children scheduled for open heart surgery without blood transfusion. The children were divided into three groups: group 1 (n=21) was treated with 300 U/kg of EPO; group 2 (n=11) was treated with 150 U/kg of EPO; and group 3 (n=16) was not treated with EPO. EPO was administered on the day of hospital admission (6 to 7 days prior to surgery), on the following day, immediately after surgery, and on the following day. Immediately after surgery, the hemoglobin concentration in groups 1 and 2 was significantly higher than that in group 3. The reticulocyte count in groups 1 and 2 was significantly higher than that in group 3. Open heart surgery was completed without transfusion in all 21 patients in group 1 (100%), 10 of 11 in group 2 (90.9%), and 11 of 16 in group 3 (68.8%). EPO caused no adverse reactions. In conclusion, EPO was effective as an adjuvant therapy for open heart surgery without blood transfusion in children. Administration of a relatively high dose of EPO (300 U/kg) seems to be effective for pediatric patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures*
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Evaluation
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Erythropoietin / administration & dosage*
  • Erythropoietin / adverse effects
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Iron / administration & dosage
  • Postoperative Period
  • Reticulocyte Count
  • Time Factors


  • Hemoglobins
  • Erythropoietin
  • Iron