Erythropoietin is mainly a survival factor for human erythroid progenitor cells. Administration of recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEpo) is particularly effective in increasing the output of red cells in patients whose endogenous erythropoietin levels are inappropriately low for the degree of anemia. Recombinant human erythropoietin should routinely be given subcutaneously to maximize its effects. Most patients under rHuEpo treatment develop functional iron deficiency. Iron supplementation should therefore be given to all individuals receiving rHuEpo but those with iron overload. Recombinant human erythropoietin is currently used in clinical practice mainly for treatment of anemia associated with renal failure. In the last few years, however, its use has been approved for other indications, including prevention of anemia in surgical patients or in patients undergoing platinum- based chemotherapy, treatment of anemia of prematurity, of anemia induced by zidovudine therapy in HIV-infected patients, and of anemia induced by chemotherapy of nonmyeloid malignancies. Outside the setting of uremia only a portion of patients can clearly benefit from rHuEpo therapy, so that the use of rHuEpo should be individualized in nonrenal applications.
|Translated title of the contribution||Erythropoietin: Biological profile and therapeutic use|
|Journal||Annali Italiani di Medicina Interna, Supplement|
|Publication status||Published - 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology