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Recombinant human epoetin beta in the treatment of renal anemia

Authors Francesco Locatelli, Pietro Pozzoni, Lucia Del Vecchio

Published 15 July 2007 Volume 2007:3(3) Pages 433—439

Francesco Locatelli1, Pietro Pozzoni1, Lucia Del Vecchio2

1Department of Nephrology and Dialysis, A. Manzoni Hospital, Lecco, Italy; 2Department of Hypertension and Preventive Nephrology, IRCCS Policlinico Multimedia, Sesto San Giovanni (MI), Italy

Abstract: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of the poor long-term survival of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Anemia complicating CKD not only impairs patients’ quality of life, but is also an independent risk factor for adverse cardiovascular outcomes. The availability of recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) has greatly changed the management of anemia in CKD patients. Besides improving hemoglobin levels, rHuEPO therapy has been demonstrated to significantly improve quality of life and decrease morbidity and mortality in patients with CKD. Epoetin beta, together with epoetin alfa and darbepoetin alfa, is one of the erythropoiesis-stimulating agents now available on the market. Different studies have shown that epoetin beta once-weekly administration to hemodialysis patients is as effective as three-times-weekly administration in maintaining hemoglobin levels at equivalent weekly doses. This raises the possibility of reducing the frequency of administration of rHuEPO therapy, thus increasing the alternatives available for tailoring anemia therapy to patients needs, and at the same time reducing nursing times and treatment costs. This is expected to potentially enhance patient compliance, thus helping more patients achieve their target hemoglobin levels.

Keywords: anemia, chronic kidney disease, epoetin beta, cardiovascular disease

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