Patients with uraemia have a defect of primary haemostasis expressed as long skin bleeding times and reduced platelet adhesion to the arterial subendothelium. Transfusion of red cells shortens the bleeding time and stops bleeding symptoms in uraemia. This study investigated whether the efficacy of recombinant human erythropoietin in correcting anaemia and the improvement in haemostasis are correlated. Recombinant human erythropoietin was given to seven consecutive patients with chronic uraemia, a history of bleeding, severe anaemia (haematocrit below 23%), and long bleeding times (above 19 min). The progressive rise in haematocrit induced by increasing doses of recombinant human erythropoietin was paralleled by a pronounced shortening of the bleeding time. Platelet adhesion to the subendothelium of human umbilical arteries, very low before the study, increased greatly in all patients and became normal in six. None of the patients bled during the study period.
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