Background. Despite improvements in dialysis care, anemia remains a problem in pediatric hemodialysis patients. Methods. To assess possible explanations for the anemia, clinical data were obtained from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on all hemodialysis patients ages 12 to <18 years between October and December 2000. Complete data were available for 435 of the 516 patients (84%). Results. A total of 160 (37%) patients had a mean hemoglobin of <11 g/dL (anemic). The mean (±SD) age for these patients was 15.5 ± 1.8 years compared to 15.9 ± 1.5 years for the target hemoglobin patients (P < 0.05). Mean time on chronic dialysis was similar for both the anemic and target hemoglobin patients (≥100 g/dL) (∼3 years) but patients on dialysis <6 months were more likely to be anemic (67%). While nearly all patients were treated with erythropoietin, anemic patients received greater weekly erythropoietin doses (intravenous, anemia 374 ± 232 units/kg/week vs. target hemoglobin 246 ± 196 units/kg/week, P < 0.001; and subcutaneous, 304 ± 238 units/kg/week vs. 167 ± 99 units/kg/week, P < 0.05). A total of 59% of anemic patients had a mean transferrin saturation (TSAT) ≥20% compared to 71% of patients with a target hemoglobin (P < 0.01). A mean serum ferritin ≥100 ng/mL was present in ∼ two thirds of the anemic and target hemoglobin patients. Approximately 60% of all children were treated with intravenous iron. The mean Kt/V values were lower for anemic patients (1.46 ± 0.4 vs. 1.53 ± 0.3, P < 0.05). Anemic patients were less likely to have a normal serum albumin (29% anemic vs. 52% target hemoglobin patients, P < 0.001). Conclusion. In the final multivariable regression model, dialyzing <6 months, a low albumin, and a mean TSAT <20% remained significant predictors of anemia in children.
- Pediatric hemodialysis
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