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Successful creation of an anemia management algorithm for hemodialysis patients

Authors Hara K, Mizutani Y, Kodera H, Miyake M, Yasuda Y, Ohara S

Received 10 January 2015

Accepted for publication 31 March 2015

Published 23 June 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 65—75


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Pravin Singhal

Kazuhiro Hara, Yasuhide Mizutani, Hitoshi Kodera, Masato Miyake, Yoshiki Yasuda, Sanae Ohara

Department of Nephrology, Yokkaichi Social Insurance Hospital, Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, Japan

Introduction: Several anemia guidelines for hemodialysis patients have recommended a target hemoglobin (Hb) range of 10–12 g/dL. However, maintaining Hb values continuously within a narrow target has been difficult, and there has been no generally accepted anemia management algorithm for hemodialysis patients.
Methods: In our study, we created an anemia management algorithm that considers the length of erythrocyte lifetimes, focuses on the combination of erythropoiesis-stimulating agent management and iron administration, and prevents iron deficiency and overload. Our algorithm established a target Hb range of 10–12 g/dL.
Results: We evaluated our algorithm in 49 patients for 6 months. The mean Hb values were approximately 11 g/dL during our study period. The percentage of patients in the target Hb range of 10–12 g/dL increased from 77.6% (38 of 49) at baseline to 85.7% (42 of 49) at 4–6 months. Throughout monthly regular blood tests during 1–6 months after we introduced our algorithm, Hb values remained within the target range in 55.1% (27 of 49) of patients. The standard deviation of Hb values significantly decreased at 5 and 6 months (P=0.013 and P=0.047, respectively; 1 g/dL at 0 month, 0.7 g/dL at 5 months, and 0.7 g/dL at 6 months). Our algorithm also succeeded in suppressing cumulative doses of iron (≤800 mg) and decreasing the ferritin values significantly (P=0.011). There were no significant differences in erythropoiesis-stimulating agent doses between 0 and 6 months (P=0.357).
Conclusion: Our anemia management algorithm successfully increased the number of patients in the target Hb range, significantly decreased the Hb standard deviation, suppressed cumulative doses of iron, and decreased ferritin values. These results suggest a better prognosis for hemodialysis patients. Further studies are required to evaluate our algorithm.

Keywords: erythropoiesis-stimulating agent, hemoglobin, iron, hemoglobin standard deviation, target hemoglobin range, ferritin

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