We investigated whether the treatment of anemic hemodialysis patients with a low dose of recombinant human erythropoietin (rHEpo) for a short period would increase the blood pressure (BP). Home BP measurements were used to detect minute increases in BP. Fifty-one anemic patients on maintenance hemodialysis with a hematocrit of 25% or less received rHEpo at the dose of 4500IU/week by the intravenous route for 8 weeks. Overall, rHEpo did not increase the BP whether measured at home or in the clinic (casual BP). Hemoglobin concentration increased significantly from 7.1 ± 0.7 to 8.8 ± 0.7 g/dl. Patients were classified into two groups according to the change in mean (M) home BP induced by rHEpo: a pressor group (AMBP≥5mmHg, n=17) and a non-pressor group (AMBP<5mmHg, n = 34). The hemoglobin concentration rose significantly in both groups, but there was no change in casual BP. Home blood pressure measurements showed a gradual and continuous rise in BP in the pressor group, but not in the non-pressor group. Patients administered antihypertensive medications before rHEpo treatment accounted for 88% of the former and 50% of the latter groups. Two patients with malignant nephrosclerosis were included in the pressor group. The findings indicate that rHEpo, even given at a low dose for a short period, elevates the BP, as determined by home BP measurement, but not by casual measurements obtained in the clinic.
ASJC Scopus subject areas