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Congest Heart Fail. 2004 Sep-Oct;10(5):243-7.

Mechanisms and treatment of anemia in chronic heart failure.

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Yale University School of Medicine, 135 College Street, Suite 301, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.


Anemia is highly prevalent in patients with chronic heart failure (HF) and is associated with poor clinical outcomes. Multiple mechanisms contribute to anemia in chronic HF, and subnormal compensatory rise in endogenous erythropoietin levels in response to anemia is one contributory factor. Randomized trials with recombinant human erythropoietin therapy in anemic patients with chronic kidney disease and concomitant heart disease have demonstrated a reduction in left ventricular hypertrophy but variable effects on clinical outcome. Preliminary clinical trials in anemic patients with chronic HF demonstrate that erythropoietin therapy is well tolerated and associated with short-term clinical improvement. The optimum target hemoglobin, erythropoietic agent, and dosing regimen, and the role of iron supplementation in patients with chronic HF, are not known. Additional studies are needed to determine the safety and efficacy of long-term erythropoietic therapy in chronic HF patients.

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