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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2010 Jul;11(10):1611-20. doi: 10.1517/14656566.2010.495119.

Clinical effectiveness and safety evaluation of long-term pioglitazone treatment for erythropoietin responsiveness and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetic patients on hemodialysis.

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Division of Nephrology, Hypertension and Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, Nihon University School of Medicine, 30-1 Oyaguchi Kami-chou, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-8610, Japan.



We aimed to assess the effect of long-term pioglitazone treatment on erythropoietin responsiveness and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetic patients on hemodialysis.


We conducted a prospective, open-label, parallel-group, controlled study of 63 type 2 diabetic hemodialysis patients who were randomly assigned to two groups: pioglitazone group (P-group; 15-30 mg/day pioglitazone plus conventional oral hypoglycemic agents) and control group (C-group; conventional oral hypoglycemic agents alone). We determined the efficacy of pioglitazone by monitoring anemia, glycemic control, insulin resistance, and levels of inflammatory cytokines and high-molecular-weight (HMW) adiponectin for 96 weeks.


Pioglitazone effectively reduced erythropoietin dose and maintained the target hemoglobin levels by improving insulin resistance up to the end of the study. In the P-group, hemoglobin A(1c), glycated albumin, and triglycerides significantly decreased compared with the C-group. There was a significant reduction in homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance and the level of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and a significant increase in HMW adiponectin level in the P-group; these changes were significantly different compared with values for the C-group. No serious adverse effects such as hypoglycemia, liver impairment, or heart failure were observed in any of the patients.


Pioglitazone treatment resulted in better glycemic control, improved lipid levels, an increase in insulin sensitivity and adiponectin levels, and a decrease in inflammatory markers, thus improving the risk factors of cardiovascular disease. Erythropoietin responsiveness improved with a reduction in erythropoietin dose and may be associated with the improvement in insulin resistance due to long-term pioglitazone treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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