HFE genotype influences erythropoiesis support requirement in hemodialysis patients: A prospective study

Luca Valenti, Giovanni Valenti, Giovanna Como, Gennaro Santorelli, Paola Dongiovanni, Raffaela Rametta, Anna Ludovica Fracanzani, Dario Tavazzi, Pier Giorgio Messa, Silvia Fargion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background/Aims: HFE protein controls iron absorption and cycling, and HFE mutations influence iron status. The aim was to evaluate the effect of the HFE genotype on the need for iron and erythropoietin in Italian hemodialysis patients. Methods: Ninety-six prevalent patients were evaluated at the time of enrolment and prospectively followed for 3 years. Patients were given r-HuEPO and Fe3+-gluconate according to guidelines. The HFE genotype was determined by restriction analysis. Results: Three patients (3%) carried the C282Y mutation, 4 (4%) were homozygous and 18 (19%) heterozygous for the H63D mutation, and 71 (74%) were negative for both. At enrolment, subjects positive for HFE mutations had higher iron stores (ferritin 617 ± 663 vs. 423 ± 386 ng/ml, p = 0.05), were receiving less iron (82.5 ± 66 vs. 110 ± 154 mg/month, p = 0.05) and a lower r-HuEPO dosage (98 ± 83 vs. 142 ± 138 U/kg/week, p = 0.03). Consistently during the study period, patients positive for HFE mutations received a lower amount of r-HuEPO (94.5 ± 63 vs. 186 ± 344 U/kg/week, p = 0.01) and iron (97 ± 63 vs. 121 ± 68 mg/month, p = 0.07). Upon Cox regression analysis, after adjustment for confounding variables, the presence of HFE mutations was associated with a reduced risk of death (HR 0.6, 95% CI 0.34-1.03, p = 0.06). Conclusion:HFE mutations reduce the amount of r-HuEPO and iron necessary to support erythropoiesis in hemodialysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-316
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Nephrology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


  • Chronic dialysis
  • Erythropoietin
  • Genetics
  • Hemodialysis
  • Hepcidin
  • HFE protein
  • Iron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology

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