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Int J Artif Organs. 2001 Jun;24(6):367-73.

Influence of recombinant human erythropoietin therapy on plasma endothelin-1 levels during hemodialysis.

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Medical Clinic II, Technical University Hospital, Aachen, Germany.


The correction of anemia with human recombinant erythropoietin (rHuEPO) in end stage renal disease is associated with hypertension in about one third of hemodialysis patients. The pathogenesis of the rHuEPO-induced hypertension is still uncertain, though evidence of the involvement of endothelial cells has emerged. The aim of this study was to determine plasma endothelin-1 during hemodialysis and to compare the endothelin-1 levels in hemodialysis patients with and without rHuEPO substitution. Nineteen stable patients (13 male and 6 female, mean age 62 +/- 11 years) with end stage renal disease were studied. Cuprophan dialysers (GFS 12, Gambro, Lund, Sweden) were used for hemodialysis in all cases. rHuEPO (40 U/kg s.c.) was administered to 10 patients. Blood pressure (BP; RR mmHg) and blood volume changes (deltaBV; hemoglobinometry %) were serially measured. Samples were taken before and every hour during hemodialysis. Plasma endothelin-1 was measured by ELISA (R&D Systems, Minneapolis, USA) and corrected for hemoconcentration. Endothelin-1 concentration was elevated before commencement of hemodialysis (1.16 +/- 0.36 pg/ml) when compared to healthy controls (ref. 0.3-0.9) and increased to 1.47 +/- 0.51 pg/ml by the end of the session (p<0.05). In patients under rHuEPO-substitution plasma endothelin-1 was higher when compared to patients without substitution before (1.25 +/- 0.3 vs. 1.05 +/- 0.3 pg/ml) and at the end of HD (1.62 +/- 0.5 vs. 1.28 +/- 0.3 pg/ml, p<0.05). There was no difference in BP and deltaBV between the two groups during treatment. Plasma endothelin-1 was higher in hemodialysis patients and there was a continuous rise in plasma endothelin-1 during a session. Comparison of two groups of hemodialysis patients with and without s.c. rHuEPO-replacement treatment revealed a significantly higher plasma endothelin-1 concentration in patients with s.c. rHuEPO treatment. However, the elevated endothelin-1 levels were not accompanied by arterial hypertension.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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