rEPO therapy provides a unique opportunity to correct anemia in end-stage renal failure patients. Complete correction of the anemia, although possible, has some obvious disadvantages over a partial correction with a target hemoglobin of 10-13 g/dl or a hematocrit of 30-35%, respectively. Unresponsiveness to rEPO seems to be rare; in most cases the predicted hemoglobin increase could be seen as soon as an underlying iron deficiency was treated adequately. Blood loss and aluminum toxicity are the next most frequent reasons for an inadequate response to rEPO. Hypertension (and its complications) as well as fistula clotting are the most important side-effects which require close attention when patients at risk for these complications are treated with rEPO.
- renal failure
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