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Artif Organs. 2002 Apr;26(4):366-70.

Intravenous ascorbic acid administration for erythropoietin-hyporesponsive anemia in iron loaded hemodialysis patients.

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  • 1Department of Nephrology, Ba┼čkent University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.


Intravenous ascorbic acid administration (IVAA) could override recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) resistance in hemodialysis patients with iron overload. We investigated the hematopoietic response to IVAA in iron-overloaded hemodialysis patients. We included 36 patients whose ferritin levels were higher than 500 microg/L and who needed more than 100 U/kg/week of rHuEPO. The study included an initial phase (500 mg IVAA twice weekly was administered to all of the patients for 8 weeks) and a maintenance phase (patient groups were formed; Group 1 received IVAA 500 mg/week for 8 weeks and Group 2 received no therapy). We observed a significant increase in hematocrit and transferrin saturation and a decrease in the percentage of hypochromic red cells and ferritin levels at the end of the initial phase. The total weekly-required rHuEpo dose and rHuEpo/hemoglobin also fell significantly after the initial phase. The response remained stable in patient groups during the maintenance phase. In 6 nonresponders, the hypochromic red cells were <10%. In conclusion, IVAA effectively overrides rHuEPO resistance in iron-overloaded hemodialysis patients.

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