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Contrib Nephrol. 1991;88:118-25; discussion 126.

Hypertension as a possible complication of recombinant human erythropoietin therapy.

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  • 1Abteilung Nephrologie, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, FRG.


The analysis of the hemodynamics accompanying correction of renal anemia by rhEPO shows that--although they behave qualitatively as in nonuremic anemic patients--cardiac output and peripheral resistance may change inadequately and thereby cause a rise of blood pressure. The underlying mechanisms are not yet fully understood but to a great part may be related to preexisting pathology due to a history of longlasting hypertension. In some patients the development of hypertension may only represent a temporary phenomenon of hemodynamic dysregulation. To avoid cardiovascular complications the following should be considered: Patients with a history of hypertension, even if they are normotensive in the anemic state, are at a higher risk of developing hypertension during therapy with rhEPO. Hypertensive complications may be rare events when anemia is corrected slowly. In case of the development or aggravation of hypertension a reduction of the target hematocrit is indicated.

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