Journal Article

Incidence of anaemia, and use of epoetin therapy in pre‐dialysis patients: a prospective study in 403 patients

Pierre‐Yves Jungers, Christophe Robino, Gabriel Choukroun, Thao Nguyen‐Khoa, Ziad A. Massy and Paul Jungers

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 17, issue 9, pages 1621-1627
Published in print September 2002 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online September 2002 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Incidence of anaemia, and use of epoetin therapy in pre‐dialysis patients: a prospective study in 403 patients

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Background. Recent American and European guidelines recommend that epoetin therapy should be considered whenever the blood haemoglobin (Hb) level is <10–11 g/dl in dialysis patients and in pre‐dialysis patients. Thus, data on the current prevalence of anaemia with respect to the degree of chronic renal insufficiency are needed in order to determine the potential indications of epoetin therapy in the pre‐dialysis period.

Methods. We prospectively studied 403 consecutive ambulatory pre‐dialysis patients whose serum creatinine (Scr) was 200 μmol/l or more at their first passage at our out‐patient clinic between January 1 and June 30, 1999. Hb and Scr values were determined at each visit until June 30, 2000, or until the start of maintenance dialysis. Patients had a clinical and laboratory evaluation every 2–3 months, and monthly when treated with epoetin.

Results. The mean (±SD) age of patients was 60.9±17.2 years at presentation. The Hb level was <11 g/dl in 62% of patients with Scr ⩾400 μmol/l, and in 58% of patients with an estimated creatinine clearance (Ccr) <20 ml/min/1.73 m2. The proportion of anaemic patients was higher for any given Ccr value in females than in males. A total of 136 patients were treated with epoetin during the observation period. At the start of epoetin, their mean Hb value was 9.5±0.6 g/dl and Ccr level 13.9±4.9 ml/min/1.73 m2. Among the 123 patients who began maintenance dialysis therapy during the observation period, 85 (or 69%) received epoetin therapy before the start of dialysis. Their mean Hb value at the start of dialysis was 10.8±1 g/dl compared with 10.5±1.1 g/dl in the 41 dialysed patients who did not require epoetin therapy during the pre‐dialysis period.

Conclusions. Based on the data gained in a large cohort of patients receiving regular pre‐dialysis nephrological care, the proportion of subjects with a Hb level <11 g/dl may be estimated at ∼60% when the Ccr is <20 ml/min/1.73 m2. If the Hb level is to be maintained at no less than 11 g/dl, at least two‐thirds of patients at this advanced stage of chronic renal failure should require pre‐dialysis epoetin therapy.

Keywords: anaemia; chronic renal insufficiency; epoetin therapy; haemoglobin

Journal Article.  4783 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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