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Nutr Hosp. 2010 Jul-Aug;25(4):555-60.

[Pro-hepcidin, its relation with indicators of iron metabolism and of inflammation in patients hemodialyzed treated or not with recombinant erythropoietin].

[Article in Spanish]

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Departamento de Ciencias Básicas, Escuela de Bioanálisis de Carabobo, Carabobo, Brasil.


Hepcidin, an antimicrobial peptide which synthesis is regulated by iron status and inflammation, plays an important role in iron homeostasis in hemodialysed (HD) patients. It is measured by measuring serum prohepcidin.


To determine serum prohepcidin levels and their relationship with serum ferritin, C reactive protein (CRP), and albumin in HD patients treated or not with recombinant erythropoietin (EPO) that attended the Health Centre of the Carabobo State in Venezuela.


This is a descriptive, correlational, and field investigation with a sample comprised by 71 HD patients of whom 57 were treated with EPO. Serum prohepcidin, ferritin, haemoglobin, hematocrit, CRP, and albumin were determined. Anaemia (haemoglobin < 10 g/dL) and iron deficiency (ferritin < 100 ng/mL) were defined according to the criteria recommended by the K/DOQUI group. Reference values: Albumin 3.5-4.8 g/dL, and for acute inflammatory conditions (CRP > 10 mg/L.).


The mean value for prohepcidin was 397.5 ng/mL. A high percentage of anaemia was observed (87.3%) and 22.5% of the patients had low levels of serum ferritin. There were no statistically significant differences for ferritin, albumin, CRP, or prohepcidin, between patients with and without EPO therapy. Only the CRP value was significantly correlated (rho = 0.276; p = 0.020) with prohepcidin.


HD patients present high levels of prohepcidin, and this may be due to the common ongoing inflammatory process in these patients and not to the iron status measured through serum ferritin levels.

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