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Clin Ther. 2008 Dec;30(12):2324-34. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2008.12.024.

A US multicenter, retrospective, observational study of erythropoiesis-stimulating agent utilization in anemic, critically ill patients admitted to the intensive care unit.

Author information

1
Departments of Pharmacy and Neurosurgery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia 23298-0533, USA. gbrophy@vcu.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Anemia is a common comorbid condition among patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). Darbepoietin alfa and epoetin alfa are erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) used to manage anemia in the ICU, although neither drug has an indication in critically ill patients.

OBJECTIVE:

This study describes ESA practice patterns in anemic, critically ill patients admitted to the ICU.

METHODS:

A total of 19 hospitals participated in this US multicenter, retrospective, observational study of adult patients not receiving chronic hemodialysis who were admitted to the ICU for >or=24 hours between February 2005 and September 2005 and who received >or=1 dose of darbepoietin alfa or epoetin alfa. Data on ESA doses, dosing frequencies, hemoglobin levels, and red blood cell (RBC) transfusions were abstracted from electronic medical records.

RESULTS:

A total of 438 patients were included in the analysis, of whom 201 (46%) were treated with darbepoietin alfa and 237 (54%) were treated with epoetin alfa. In the respective groups, similar proportions were male (121/201 [60%] and 126/237 [53%]) and white (146/195 [75%] and 140/184 [76%]); age was also similar (mean [SD], 62 [19] and 60 [18] years). The mean (SD) dose during the first week of ICU stay was 96.5 (40.5) microg with darbepoietin alfa and 33,439 (23,508) U with epoetin alfa. The most commonly prescribed dosing frequency with darbepoietin alfa was once weekly (88.1% of all prescribed doses), with a mean (SD) number of injections of 1.8 (1.75). With epoetin alfa, the most common dosing frequencies were 3 times weekly (35.9%), 1-time dosing (28.5%), and once weekly (24.0%), with a mean (SD) number of injections of 2.9 (4.2). In both groups, the duration of therapy was <or=1 week in ~50% of patients, and the mean change in hemoglobin concentration was 0.8 g/dL. Overall, 47% (darbepoietin alfa) and 44% (epoetin alfa) of patients were RBC transfusion independent (ie, did not require a transfusion during their ICU or hospital stay) after receiving the first ESA dose.

CONCLUSION:

Based on these results, it is apparent that the practice patterns associated with ESA treatment of critically ill patients admitted to the ICU between February 2005 and September 2005 were highly variable.

PMID:
19167591
DOI:
10.1016/j.clinthera.2008.12.024
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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