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Am J Kidney Dis. 1999 Apr;33(4):702-8.

Prevalence of preterminal pulmonary thromboembolism among patients on maintenance hemodialysis treatment before and after introduction of recombinant erythropoietin.

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  • 1Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Nephrology, St Poelten, Austria.


The prevalence of pulmonary thromboembolism at autopsy was assessed in a retrospective study of a cohort of 185 patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis treatment who died in the last decade. The overall frequency of thromboembolism was 12.43% in the dialysis population, which statistically was significantly less than in a control group of 8,051 nondialysis patients (21.77%; P = 0.0023). Moreover, pulmonary thromboembolism was less frequently fatal or contributing to death in the dialysis group than in the control group (P = 0.039). The prevalence of pulmonary thromboembolism in the dialysis group remained statistically unchanged over the 10-year period and was independent of a steady increase in the percentage of patients receiving recombinant erythropoietin therapy and the average hematocrit values. The occurrence of preterminal pulmonary thromboembolism was associated with a shorter period since onset of hemodialysis treatment and with infection as cause of death (P = 0. 031; P = 0.029, respectively). No statistically significant influence of the type of basic renal disease, type of dialysis anticoagulation, or dialysis access could be found. Our data suggest that, at least in the preterminal stage, the introduction of recombinant erythropoietin within the last decade had no substantial influence on the prevalence of pulmonary thromboembolism.

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