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Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl. 2009 May;20(3):410-6.

Survey of attitude of physicians on updates in the management of anemia in chronic kidney disease patients.

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Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


We aimed in this study to assess the opinion of medical directors of dialysis centers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) about updates of strategies for treatment of anemia in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). A questionnaire was sent to the medical directors of the 174 active dialysis centers in the KSA including centers under the Ministry of Health (MOH) (67 %), the governmental non-MOH sector (12%) and private hospitals (21 %) that together care for a population of more than 11,300 chronic dialysis patients. The study was performed between November 2008 and March 2009. A total of 143 of the 174 (82.1%) medical directors answered the questionnaire. This covered 9563 (84%) dialysis patients in the KSA. There were 95 (68.8%) respondents who believed that the mechanism of action of ESAs is due to both blood concentration and direct action on the stem cells that form red cells. Only 81 (57%) respondents believed that the half-life of the short-acting ESAs is less than one day, 67 (46.9%) believed the half-life of darbepoetin is 2-4 days, and 52 (36.6%) believed the half-life of CERA is 5-10 days; 79 (55.6%) respondents believed that the interval of dosing of darbepoetin is once biweekly, and 92 (71.9%) believed that the interval of dosing of CERA is once a month. There were 110 (76.9%) respondents who believed the CKD should receive a long-acting than short-acting ESAs for the more stable hemoglobin levels, 64 (44.8%) believed that pharmacodynamics of the CERA are better than other ESAs and warrant its use over all of them, and 115 (80.6%) believed that the target hemoglobin is 11-13 g/dL in CKD patients is well established. Finally, 65 (51.5%) respondents would request more than 30% of the stock of ESAs in the future as short-acting ESAs vs 71 (55%) for darbepoetin and 40 (37.4%) for CERA. There were no statistically significant differences among the respondents according to their affiliations (MOH, non MOH and private sector) on any of the issues in the questionnaire. We conclude that our results showed inadequate awareness of the medical directors of the dialysis centers in the KSA of the mechanisms of action of ESAs and the new agents such as the CERA. However, they were well informed about the limits of the targeted hemoglobin levels and showed a trend toward using the long-acting ESAs.

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