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Am J Nephrol. 2008;28(1):115-21. Epub 2007 Oct 17.

Association of prohepcidin and hepcidin-25 with erythropoietin response and ferritin in hemodialysis patients.

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  • 1Division of Blood Purification, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan.


Hepcidin is a key regulator of iron metabolism. In this study, we examined whether measurement of hepcidin is useful in assessing recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) responsiveness in regular hemodialysis (HD) patients in a cross-sectional fashion. We examined the association between serum prohepcidin, a prohormone of hepcidin, and rHuEPO dosage and the rHuEPO/hemoglobin (Hb) ratio in 75 HD patients. We also semiquantatively measured the peak intensity of serum hepcidin-25, the major form of mature hepcidin, in 24 HD patients by using surface-enhanced laser desorption ionization time of flight time mass spectrometry, and compared those between rHuEPO-hyporesponsive (rHuEPO 192 +/- 10 [126-252] IU/kg/week, n = 15) and responsive patients (rHuEPO 40 +/- 9 [0-81] U/kg/week, n = 9). A significant but weak relationship was found between serum prohepcidin and rHuEPO dosage (r = 0.24, p < 0.05) and rHuEPO/Hb ratio (r = 0.22, p = 0.06). However, prohepcidin did not become an indicator of hematopoietic parameters by multiple regression analysis. Serum hepcidin-25 intensity was significantly and positively correlated with ferritin (r = 0.51, p < 0.01) but not with log-transformed C-reactive protein. There was no difference in the intensities of serum hepcidin-25 between rHuEPO-hyporesponsive and responsive patients (64 +/- 10 vs. 52 +/- 16 AU, p = NS). It follows from these findings that the assessment of serum hepcidin using currently available assays was not valid in predicting rHuEPO responsiveness in chronic HD patients.

(c) 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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