Recombinant human erythropoietin to correct uremic bleeding

G. Vigano, A. Benigni, D. Mendogni, G. Mingardi, G. Mecca, G. Remuzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recombinant human erythropoietin may improve hemostasis of uremic patients by correcting anemia. However, a complete correction of renal anemia carries the risk of hypertension, encephalopathy, thrombosis, and hyperkalemia. Our aim was to establish the minimum level of packed cell volume (PCV) achieved with recombinant human erythropoietin that corrects the prolonged bleeding time in uremia. Twenty patients with chronic renal failure, anemia, and very prolonged bleeding time (≥15 minutes) were randomly allocated to erythropoietin or no specific treatment. The initial dose of erythropoietin was 50 U/kg intravenously (IV) three times a week. Every 4 weeks, the dose was increased by 25 U/kg until a normalization of bleeding time was achieved. Erythropoietin at a dose ranging from 150 to 300 U/kg/wk induced an increase in PCV to a range of 27% to 32% in all patients but one, and normalized bleeding time in all patients. A significant negative correlation (r = 0.898, P <0.001) was found between PCV and bleeding time measurements. Erythropoietin also significantly (P <0.01) increased values for red blood cell (RBC) distribution width (basal, 11.3 ± 0.6; 12 weeks, 13.1 ± 1.3). Platelet count and platelet function parameters did not significantly change. In untreated patients, no changes were recorded in all the parameters considered. These results establish in a controlled fashion that erythropoietin shortens bleeding time of uremic patients and indicate that a partial correction of renal anemia is enough to normalize bleeding time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-49
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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