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Clin Invest Med. 1991 Dec;14(6):614-22.

Changes in the alpha adrenergic system and increase in blood pressure with recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEpo) therapy for renal anemia.

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Medical Clinic II, University of Cologne, Germany.


Recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEpo) is effective in correcting renal anemia with the development of hypertension as the most frequent side-effect. Compared to hemodialysis patients with normal hemoglobin concentration, nine examined patients with transfusion-dependent renal anemia had low blood pressure in the context of high alpha 2-receptor densities and high plasma levels of catecholamines. This constellation can be explained by a defective receptor-ligand-interaction. During treatment with rHuEpo all patients showed an increase in blood pressure due to increased peripheral resistance, accompanied by a significant fall in plasma noradrenaline and alpha 2-receptor-density. There was a significant negative correlation between hemoglobin concentration and alpha 2-receptor density. We conclude that correction of renal anemia abolishes anemia-mediated disturbance of alpha 2-receptor function with the consequence of receptor down-regulation and increased vasoconstriction, which contributes to the rise in arterial blood pressure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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