Journal Article

Anaemia and inflammation: what are the implications for the nephrologist?

Peter Stenvinkel

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

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

Volume 18, issue suppl_8, pages viii17-viii22
Published in print November 2003 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online November 2003 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Anaemia and inflammation: what are the implications for the nephrologist?

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End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is characterized by a high mortality rate, which is mainly caused by cardiovascular disease. In patients with ESRD, high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and increased oxidative stress are common features and may contribute to the development of malnutrition, anaemia, resistance to recombinant human erythropoietin (epoetin) and atherosclerosis. The onset of inflammation is multi-factorial and is a predictor of poor outcome in ESRD. Although the inflammation may reflect the underlying cardiovascular disease, the acute-phase response may also contribute to both oxidative stress and progressive vascular injury. The acute-phase response in these patients may be influenced by a number of factors, and possibly the dialysis procedure itself. Inflammation and the acute-phase response interact with the haematopoietic system at several levels, resulting in reduced erythropoiesis, accelerated destruction of erythrocytes and blunting of the reactive increase in erythropoietin in response to reduced haemoglobin levels. In patients with ESRD, epoetin resistance has been linked with inflammation, which is often associated with a state of functional iron deficiency. Patients with ESRD are thought to have a reduced capacity in their control of oxidative stress and there is evidence that suggests that a relationship may exist between inflammation, oxidative stress and the treatment of anaemia with epoetin. Controlled trials are needed before evidence-based recommendations for the management of inflammation-induced anaemia and resistance to epoetin can be defined.

Keywords: anaemia; end-stage renal disease; inflammation; oxidative stress; recombinant human erythropoietin

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Nephrology

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