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Ren Fail. 1994;16(5):645-51.

Erythropoietin production in patients with chronic renal failure.

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First Department of Medicine, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Japan.


Studies were performed to reexamine the response of erythropoietin (Epo) production to acute hypoxic stimuli in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). In the absence of acute bleeding or hypoxia, the serum Epo level in ESRD was similar to that of normal subjects despite severe anemia. In 11 dialysis patients with acute bleeding, the decrease in the Hb level from 8.9 to 5.8 g/dL provoked a significant increase in serum Epo up to 52.2 times the normal value. The increase in serum Epo was associated with a significant increase in corrected reticulocyte. Systemic hypoxemia (PaO2 < 65 mm Hg) in 8 dialysis patients provoked a significant elevation in the serum Epo level up to 24.6 times the normal level. There was an inverse relationship between serum Epo and arterial PaO2 (r = -0.715). The serum Epo level in these patients declined to or near the normal value after recovery from acute hypoxic stress. These data suggest that the ability of the Epo production is well preserved in ESRD, indicating that acute hypoxic stimuli provoke a significant increase in serum Epo.

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