Recombinant human erythropoietin (rHu-EPO) in the treatment of renal anemia might predispose to an increased risk of thrombotic complications. In an attempt to comprehend the involvement of the physiologic inhibitors of coagulation in this process, we studied 2 groups of hemodialysis patients. Group I included 21 patients receiving a starting dose of 90 IU/kg/week s.c, and group II included 17 patients without rHu-EPO. The following coagulation tests were performed before rHu-EPO treatment, and after 1, 6 and 12 months: prothrombin time; activated partial fistula thromboplastin time; fibrinogen; plasminogen activity; antithrombin III activity; protein C activity; total and free protein S antigens, and C4b binding protein. Only the latter three parameters were changed in group 1 while high baseline levels of protein S antigens were found in both groups. A decrease in total and free protein S was observed within 1 month of treatment. At the 6th month total protein S returned to near pretreatment values, whereas a significant fall in free protein S (p = 0.007) was observed. All three parameters returned to near baseline values by 12 months. These results suggest that protein S activity can be altered at the beginning of EPO therapy, a change that under favoring circumstances might contribute to the thrombotic events reported during the early phase of rHu-EPO treatment.
- C4b binding protein
- Fistula thrombosis
- Protein S
- Recombinant human erythropoietin
ASJC Scopus subject areas