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Clin Transplant. 1997 Aug;11(4):313-5.

Anemia following renal transplantation: erythropoietin response and iron deficiency.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn 11203, USA.


To define the etiology of anemia post-renal transplantation, we assessed hematologic parameters and EPO levels in 38 anemic and 16 non-anemic control renal transplant recipients (RTRs) with varying degrees of allograft function at periods > 3 months post-transplantation. Significant differences between the two groups were found for serum creatinine (Cr) 291.7 +/- 26.5 vs. 203.3 +/- 26.5 mumol/l, p < 0.01; iron 9.3 +/- 0.92 vs. 13.6 +/- 1.7 mumol/l, p < 0.05; and ferritin 345.5 +/- 90.8 vs. 91.1 +/- 18.5 micrograms/l, p < 0.01. Serum EPO levels were inappropriately low in anemic patients with no significant correlation between EPO and Cr or hematocrit (Hct) levels. Serum iron was the only predictive factor for anemia on regression analysis (p < 0.05). Ferritin levels did not correlate with serum iron or Hct, and may be falsely elevated in iron deficient RTRs. Iron deficiency, poor renal function and inappropriately low EPO levels are major contributors to the 12% of our outpatient renal transplant population who are anemic.

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