Identification of poor responders to erythropoietin among children undergoing hemodialysis

Wacharee Seeherunvong, Liliana Rubio, Carolyn L. Abitbol, Brenda Montané, Jose Strauss, Rosa Diaz, Gastón Zilleruelo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objectives: To identify the factors determining a high recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) dose requirement and associated side effects in children undergoing hemodialysis. Study design: We retrospectively analyzed the clinical data of 23 children (aged 5-20 years) undergoing long-term hemodialysis. All subjects received intravenous rHuEPO to maintain hemoglobin levels ≥10 g/dL and had iron supplement. Subjects were divided into 2 groups: those receiving high-dose rHuEPO (≥450 U/kg/wk) and those receiving an average dose (<450 U/kg/wk). We compared the specific variables between both groups by using Mann-Whitney, Fisher exact, and linear regression tests; a P value <.05 was considered significant. Results: Four of 23 subjects (17%) received high-dose rHuEPO despite iron repletion. These subjects were small and young and had frequent bacterial infections, high ferritin levels, and severe hyperparathyroidism. Two patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection required high-dose rHuEPO. The main adverse effect of high-dose rHuEPO was an increase in the heparin requirement during hemodialysis. Conclusions: Age, body weight, inflammatory status, and severity of hyperparathyroidism should be taken into account when adjusting rHuEPO dose for children undergoing hemodialysis. Furthermore, we suggest that high rHuEPO doses are related to an increase in the heparin requirement in these children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)710-714
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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