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Am J Hypertens. 1990 Dec;3(12 Pt 1):947-55.

Hypertension following erythropoietin therapy in anemic hemodialysis patients.

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Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


Recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEpo) corrects the anemia of end-stage renal disease. However, hypertension has been observed as an adverse effect of increasing red cell mass. In our study, 44 of 63 patients (70%) treated with rHuEpo had an increase in mean arterial pressure greater than 10 mm Hg or required new or additional hypertensive medications. Retrospective analysis disclosed that increasing blood pressure was associated with pretreatment hematocrit level less than or equal to 0.20 (P = .05) and dependency on red cell transfusions (P less than .01). Factors not associated with hypertension included the rate of rise of the hematocrit, the net rise in hematocrit, age, sex, the number of years on dialysis, the presence or absence of kidneys, smoking, or the presence of pretreatment hypertension. Noninvasive hemodynamic studies in eight normotensive patients before and after improvement of the anemia demonstrated a normalization of the decreased peripheral vascular resistance and a reduction toward normal in the elevated cardiac output. In three of these patients, clinical hypertension subsequently evolved. Follow-up hemodynamic studies in nine other patients receiving new or additional antihypertensive medications were difficult to interpret. Although the hypertension can be controlled with routine medication, hypertensive encephalopathy may occur if the blood pressure increases rapidly when the hematocrit increases with rHuEpo therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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